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4 BOUVERIE STREET, LONDON, E.C.4 . . . 1926 


Printed in Great Britain by R. & R. CLARK, LIMITED, Edinburgh. 





Great is love, and a great good in every way ; for it alone 
maketh every burden light, and every rough place smooth. 

For it carries a burden without being burdened, and makes 
all that is bitter sweet and savoury. 

The noble love of Jesus spurs us on to do great things, 
and excites us always to long after that which is more 

Love feels no burden, thinks not of labours, would 
willingly do more than it can, complains not of impossibility, 
because it thinks that it may and can do all things. 

It is equal, therefore, to anything ; and it performs and 
bringeth many things to pass, where he that loves not faints 
and fails. Imitatio Ohristi. 


To print all the tributes of love and reverence paid to Bishop 
Cassels is impossible ; to make a selection is full of difficulty, but 
the following appreciations from His Grace the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, four China Bishops and two Chinese Clergy may be 
allowed to stand as representative of the many, and in place of a 


The death of Bishop Cassels removes from among us 
one of the very foremost Missionaries of our time. The 
work which he has done is not of a perishable sort, and it 
must have affected the life of a very large number of people. 
He rests from his labours and his works do follow him. 
I have known him ever since his consecration some thirty 
years ago, and I have always esteemed my interviews with 
him as privileges of a very sacred kind. . . . 

His work has been of the simple straightforward kind, 
with the bringing of the Gospel of Christ to the heathen 
folk who are ready to listen. I have again and again been 
impressed by his quiet unassuming perseverance and by the 
power he has shown of what missionary work in its most 
apostolic form can be. 


We met for the first time in 1897. . . . The things 
which impressed me most about him were his deep serious- 
ness, the depth and reality of his personal religious life, his 



loyalty to his Church, and his unfailing good judgment 
and common sense. 

He seemed to me almost too serious, there was always 
a sense of strain and tension about him. One used to wish 
that he could relax a little. I used to think that this 
tension and reserve were due partly to natural disposition, 
but more largely to the weight of work and responsibility 
which always rested upon him, and to the fact that he was 
so far away in Szechwan. 

Naturally, the way in which I knew him best was by 
working with him in the General Synod and in Committees. 
He never spoke much or often, but what he said carried 
weight always. We all felt that we wished that he were 
nearer so that we could consult him oftener on difficult 
problems of mission work. And one always recognised 
that his wisdom in counsel and his remarkable administra- 
tion of his diocese were founded on a deep personal religion. 
He seemed a saintly man, not of the weak sort that is so 
often taken for saintliness, but of the silent and strong 
kind that does God's work in this world and makes no 


The Bishop's life was an inspiration to many and to 
me. It was the farewell meeting of the " Cambridge 
Seven " at Cambridge in 1885, and particularly Stanley 
Smith's address that evening, that was God's call to me 
to the foreign field, and I remember after the meeting 
walking back to College with Mr. Cassels. His long 
period of heroic work in the far West has given one of its 
high points to the history of missionary enterprise, and 
his wise and patient meeting of problems and difficulties 
has always been a great help and a steadying and inspiring 
example to us all. 



/ cannot express at all adequately my sense of loss in 
his death. Ever since I came to China, and indeed before 
I came, I have known of him and thought of him as a 
typical example of what the missionary of the Cross of 
Christ should be. For many years we have worked 
together in various ways in the Chung Hua Sheng Kung 
Huei, and my visit to Szechwan in 1914 has left an 
indelible impression upon me, not only as to Bishop Cassels* 
own saintly personal character, but also as to the extra- 
ordinary way in which that character has impressed itself 
on the work of the great diocese which he administered. 
I am also impressed by what I have seen since his death, 
that in fact his works do follow him. 


The old man with the skull cap and spectacles on 
nose, busy in his study with his correspondence or inter- 
views, giving addresses in his Chapel or Cathedral with 
amazing vigour and spiritual freshness, has become a 
fixed institution. . . . 

Paoning, because he lived there, became known as the 
place " whither the tribes go up ". Having built up the 
work from the beginning he had a remarkable grip on 
details and a mine of wisdom minted from experience. 
Always a reserved man, he had within a rather awe- 
inspiring exterior one of the kindest of hearts. None of 
his guests can ever forget the infinite pains he took to make 
them comfortable. When anyone suffered, the Bishop 
suffered with them. . . . 

His activity was remarkable. Nobody could have 
called him old who saw him on the Badminton court, more 
than a match for many half his years, or entering whole- 



heartedly into the games of his daughter's family as their 
idolised grandfather. . . . 

A tremendous sense of duty and stern self-discipline 
were marked characteristics of his life. I have never met 
a man in whom these were so prominent ; I believe it to be 
a literal fact that he never thought of himself. His work, 
to which he constantly remembered God had called him, 
was the passion of his life. He had no hobbies, and found 
mental relaxation increasingly difficult. Young men 
meeting him for the first time were amazed at his intense- 
ness for a man of his years. His great objective was the 
evangelisation of the district over which he had been set. 
His great gifts of organisation were subordinated to that 
end. Much else might be useful. Nothing must ever crowd 
evangelisation out. He came to understand the Chinese 
as few foreigners do. He could disentangle complicated 
situations and put them right as few others were able to do. 

He was a masterful man. No one could be more 
tenacious than he was when his mind was made up. He 
was extraordinarily shy. It created a barrier which he 
felt much more acutely even than the rest of us. He was 
very humble. I had heard his humility spoken of long 
before I met him, but to work with him for three years was 
to see what real humility was. ... 

His devotion to Mrs. Cassels and hers to him were very 
beautiful to witness. He considered her in every way, and 
she " reverenced her husband". Mrs. Cassels lived for 
the Bishop, and her personality tended to be lost sight of 
in his. Her courage in the frequent long separations, her 
bravery in facing the hardships of the early days to which 
he so often referred, her faithfulness in carrying on her 
four weekly women's classes year in and year out for 
nearly forty years must never be forgotten. 

The Chinese speak of the Bishop's entire absence of 
fear. ... 


But even more noteworthy was his confidence in his 
fellow-workers. Others faced with some of his difficulties 
would have cut the knot quickly and lost a worker. The 
Bishop had infinite long-suffering and patience with hope. 
No testimony at his funeral was more touching than that 
of a prominent Chinese helper, who said when others had 
lost faith in him he had lost faith in himself ; it was the 
Bishop's implicit trust in him which brought him back. 

These traits are rays of light on the inner sanctuary. 
Day by day he walked with God. A life of prayer was 
second nature to him. How many have been prayed out 
to the field by him. His knowledge of his Bible was re- 
markable. His love for the Lord, so constantly evidenced, 
warmed many a cold heart. . . . 


What great virtue ! What great love I 

He took the great responsibility of saving souls. 

He toiled day and night to give people education. 

He climbed high mountains, crossed deep seas, and 

suffered hardship and taught men. 
Released were the poor ; enlightened were the ignorant. 
He preached the Gospel in China over forty years and 

travelled far and wide beyond the ordinary capacity. 
So humble that he never thought much about himself ; 
So wise that he always understood " what was in man ". 
How many men can rank with him ? 
Terrible to be numbered with transgressors ! 
We are not only to number converts and churches. 
" So teach us to number our days." 
Time is short. Let us be up and doing. 



Bishop Cassels, of the Szechwan Diocese, died on 
November jth, 1925. Eight days later Mrs. Cassels also 
died. The astonishing news stirred the whole Province. 
Both Chinese and foreigners felt the loss as greatly as 
if their own parents had died. Everything has changed. 
How sad we are. 

When we, the nine thousand Christians of the Diocese, 
think of the hardships of the forty years which Bishop 
and Mrs. Cassels endured, in order to bring us to birth, 
of the way in which they opened up more than 400,000 
li of the Diocese, we naturally feel overwhelmed with 
sorrow. . . . 

When the Bishop came to Szechwan he found travelling 
bad, and the people ignorant, the slaves of the devil. 
However, he did not try to escape any difficulty or 
danger. . . . 

When Bishop Cassels began to preach in Paoning the 
people were self-satisfied and proud, yet he continued to 
preach. He travelled, and worked his utmost in his 
earnestness, so that even iron and stones were moved by 

By the Grace of God men were won to the Lord, and 
became co-workers, and so the work increased. . . . 

In recent years in spite of his old age and life of 
hardship Bishop Cassels visited all the Diocesan districts, 
some trips taking him two or three months. He always 
decided beforehand the day on which he would arrive at 
a place. If it rained he would walk on, in order not to 
be late. As soon as he arrived at a place, after a few 
minutes' rest, he would begin a service for the Christians, 
or a Confirmation. He would encourage the Christian 


workers, and discuss many important matters when he 
was needing rest. . . . 

Bishop and Mrs. Cassels loved the Lord, they loved 
men. They worked hard, and accomplished a great 
work. They were admired by both Chinese and foreigners. 
They have now gone Home, hand in hand, and are 
rejoicing together in the Presence of their Lord. . . . 

Let iis trust the Lord, and save men, thus finishing 
the work which they would have liked to have finished. 
In this way their spirits will rejoice with us in heaven. 


A BIOGRAPHER, ere he completes his task, begins to 
feel something like an inquisitor. Probe he must to 
find the facts and truth. His is a sacred privilege. Of 
necessity he seeks admittance into the inner courts of 
the life of which he writes. Nothing which may be 
known can he afford to ignore. To all those who have 
so kindly and graciously introduced the writer into the 
Bishop's life, whether in the old home in Portugal or 
his recent home in Paoning, and to all those who have 
entrusted him with letters, often personal and confi- 
dential, we now offer grateful and appreciative thanks. 
Without such willing assistance our task would have 
been impossible. 

But when all such assistance has been received there 
are three things which conspire to render the picture 
incomplete. First and foremost are the author's limita- 
tions, which -are freely acknowledged. Secondly, the 
deepest things of a man's life are known only to him- 
self and God. No author can pry into these. Thirdly, 
those things which most severely test and reveal a man's 
character are to be found in his contacts with other 
men, and yet without breach of confidence or indis- 
cretion these cannot always be revealed. The picture 
must, therefore, inevitably suffer much loss in point 
and force by the employment of generalities, at times, 
instead of the living details. 

Within these inescapable limitations we have 



sought to tell as true a tale as we know how. Where 
it has been possible without wounding others we have 
not hesitated to state the facts. Nothing that can be 
published has been suppressed, and we trust no details 
have been distorted. A portrait or a story to be of 
value must be true. To make it such has been our 
aim, and no pains have been spared to secure accuracy. 
While seeking the aid of those who have been the 
Bishop's fellow- workers, we have not relied on memory 
alone, but have sought to verify or correct all such 
recollections by the use of original documents. 

In this we have been more fortunate than we had 
dared to hope, for nearly two thousand autograph or 
typed letters have come into our hands, apart from 
much that has been printed or published. This 
material has been fairly evenly distributed over the 
whole of the Bishop's life in China. We have had 
placed at our disposal his forty years' correspondence 
with the China Inland Mission Executive in Shanghai ; 
his twenty years' correspondence with Bishop Roots in 
Hankow ; such annual letters and other correspondence 
with the Church Missionary Society as have been 
preserved ; some of his annual letters to Bishop Talbot, 
with whom he was consecrated on St. Luke's Day, 1895; 
his frequent letters to the Rev. W. H. Aldis during 
recent years ; some of his correspondence with his 
fellow-workers in the diocese, including Bishop Mowll, 
and a selection of letters to his wife and children, etc. 

For the last twenty-one years much assistance has 
been received from The Bulletin of the Diocese of 
Western China with its regular letter from the Bishop, 
and full use has been made of all that has been pub- 
lished in the official organs of the Church Missionary 
Society and of the China Inland Mission. 

To mention by name all those to whom the writer 


is indebted would necessitate a long list, and we trust 
that without such detailed reference they will accept 
our whole-hearted acknowledgment here as though 
individually given. The author hopes there is none 
to whom he has not expressed his thanks by letter. 

The plan adopted has been to allow the Bishop, 
whenever possible, to speak for himself, believing his 
own words to be better than those of any interpreter. 
We have not hesitated, therefore, to quote freely and 
even extensively from his correspondence. 

In the editing of the letters quoted, often written 
under great pressure, we have expanded contractions, 
occasionally supplied a missing word, unified the spell- 
ing of Chinese place names according to the now 
generally adopted Chinese Post Office spelling, and, 
in agreement with the Bishop's later practice, have 
substituted the word " Chinese " for " native " in his 
earlier letters, believing he would himself desire this, 
since unfortunately the word " native " has, in certain 
connections, come to be associated with a sense of 

As the data available far exceeded expectations the 
book has grown to larger proportions than had been 
anticipated, but the chief difficulty, nay, the impossible 
task, has been to keep the records of so full a life within 
so small a compass. While the writer accepts full 
responsibility for what is published, it has been to him 
a source of much satisfaction that the proof has been 
read and criticised by the Rev. W. H. Aldis, the Bishop's 
colleague for twenty years. If any one will rejoice that 
the book is finished it will be he, for his office being 
next to the author's he has suffered many an invasion 
when information and counsel have been needed ! 

The writer cannot send forth the book without 
expressing his sense of privilege in being allowed to 


undertake its preparation, and his gratitude to God for 
having been enabled to complete it. When the work 
was well in hand it had to be suddenly laid aside for a 
serious operation, and when it was nearly finished 
on the very day the last two or three hundred letters 
of the Bishop's had been read a sudden development 
of eye trouble called forth a medical prohibition against 
further reading. The completion of the task, involv- 
ing the writing of the last five chapters and the final 
scrutiny of the whole, were only possible if a pro- 
longed delay was to be avoided through the eyes of 
others. Of those who have thus kindly assisted we 
would especially mention Miss Ridge, who has typed 
the whole of the manuscript much of it more than 
once and rendered ready assistance in many another 
way. We are also much indebted to Miss P. A. Hocken 
for her skilled and generous help in preparing the 
index. On his debt to his wife already irredeemable 
and to his younger daughter, Dorothea, the writer will 
not enlarge. Without their aid, the final revision of 
the manuscript, undertaken during a delightful holiday 
in the home of a kind friend in the Isle of Wight, would 
have been indefinitely postponed. 

May He who called and gave His servant, Bishop 
Cassels, to the Church in China, accept and use this 
volume not only to enshrine the past, but to keep alive 
and perpetuate the spirit and devotion of this " wise 
master builder ". 


August 1926. 



TRIBUTES .......... vii 

AUTHOR'S PREFACE ........ xv 

LANDMARKS ......... xxiii 


LIFE'S LANDSCAPE ........ 3 




REJOICING IN THE RACE . . . . . . .19 

THE CALL OF THE CITY ....... 28 



GOD FIRST ......... 49 






LOVE TRIUMPHANT ........ 93 

BRINGING HOME His BRIDE . . . . . .106 



A LOVER OF ORDER ........ 136 







(Before the Revolution) 


THE BISHOP AT WORK ....... 186 








THE HOME ......... 268 

(The Revolution and After) 

THE REVOLUTION ........ 275 

THE NEW CHURCH ........ 283 


His LAST FURLOUGH ........ 305 






THE MAN AND THE WORK ...... 356 


INDEX .......... 375 


W. W. Cassels, Bishop ..... Frontispiece 


The Bishop's Father . . 6 

The Bishop's Mother 8 

Garden Scenes in the Oporto Home ..... 14 

W. W. Cassels as Child and Youth ..... 22 

W. W. Cassels as Curate ....... 30 

M. L. Legg as Missionary Candidate ..... 94 

Ground Plan of the Paoning Premises . . . . .112 

The Home at Paoning . . . . . . .114 

The First New Chapel . . . . . . .166 

The Bishop's Private Chapel . . . . . .166 

Bishop and Mrs. Cassels with two Children .... 208 

The Yangtze Gorges . . . . . . . .218 

Ascending a Rapid ........ 218 

The Bishop's Children . . . . . . .256 

Autograph Letter ........ 273 

The Pro-Cathedral ........ 290 

Mrs. Cassels in mid life ....... 306 

As Grandfather . . . . . . . .324 

W. W. Cassels in later life ....... 356 






August 20. 
July 13. 
October 20. 
March n. 
March 25. 

June 4. 
June 10. 
February 5. 

October 4. 
October 18. 


June 24. 

1925, Summer. 

1925, November 7. 
I 925> November 15. 

Birth of John Cassels, the Father. 

Birth of Ethelinda Cox, the Mother. 

Marriage of John Cassels and Ethelinda Cox. 

W. W. Cassels born. 

W. W. Cassels came to England. 

Father died. 

To School at Percival House, Blackheath. 

To Repton. 

To St. John's College, Cambridge. 

Ordained Deacon. 

Ordained Priest. 

Sailed for China. 

Reached Shansi, North China. 

First visit to Paoning. 

Married to Miss Mary Louisa Legg. 

Dedication of First Church in Paoning. 

Consecrated Bishop, St. Luke's Day. 

Boxer Outbreak. 

Shipwrecked in Yangtze. 

Offer of Mid-China Diocese. 

Period of Revival. 

Revolution. Overthrow of Manchu dynasty. 

Invited to join C.M.S. staff in London. 

Opening of Pro-cathedral. 

Consecration of Bishop Mowll as Assistant 

Anti-foreign outburst following Shanghai 


Death of Bishop Cassels. 
Death of Mrs. Cassels. 






Every soul is an abyss, a mystery of love and pity. A sort of 
sacred emotion descends upon me whenever I penetrate the recesses 
of this sanctuary of man, and hear the gentle murmur of the prayers, 
hymns, and supplications which arise from the hidden depths of the 
heart. These involuntary confidences fill me with a tender pity 
and a religious awe and shyness. The whole experience seems to 
me as wonderful as poetry, and divine with the divineness of birth 
and dawn. Speech fails me, I bow myself and adore. AMIEL. 


In this Valley our Lord formerly had His Country House. . . . 
Some also have wished that the next way to their Father's House 
were here, that they might be troubled no more with either Hills or 
Mountains to go over ; but the Way is the Way, and there's an 
end. Pilgrim's Progress. 

IN one of the luxuriant gardens of Portugal, amid the 
beauty of the flowers, John Cassels, a young man of 
business, and Ethelinda Cox, a charming girl still in her 
teens, plighted their troth. Here in this foreign clime 
these two builded their home, into which happy and 
hallowed centre was born a family of thirteen children, 
of which goodly company the subject of our story was 
the ninth child and sixth son. 

In Portugal, where he was born, William Wharton 
Cassels spent the first ten years of his life ; in England, 
where he was educated, he made his home for the next 
sixteen or seventeen years ; while to the Land of 
Sinim, where he became missionary pioneer and first 
Bishop in Western China, he devoted the rest of his 
days a period of more than forty years. 

A child of the open air he revelled in the sunlit 
country of Northern Portugal. " Blowzed with health 
and wind and rain " he grew into a sturdy youth with 
a hearty and healthy love for sport. At Repton he 
took his place in the school Cricket Eleven, and became 
a doughty player in the school's " Rugger " * team, 
gaining his cap of honour. At Cambridge this love of 

1 Re the " Rugger " of those days, see p. 21. 



the open still prevailed, and he is remembered to-day 
by some of his contemporaries as a distinguished 
football player who only missed his " Blue " by 
breaking his leg in a college game. 

Sturdy in mind and body he was just as robust in 
soul. When called to the Mission field, he devoted 
himself to the arduous work of a pioneer with vigour and 
joy. When consecrated Bishop in Western China 
a diocese unique both in extent and population 
grace and humility became as conspicuous in his life 
as his youthful love of sport had been. Aflame with 
a longing to see his fellow-men saved, all things were 
made subject to this passion. And after more than 
forty years of toil in and for the land of his adoption, 
when bitter anti-foreign feeling was inflamed and 
ingratitude was abroad in the land, he wrote these 
heart-revealing words : 

It is deeply impressed on me that we must now remind 
ourselves again that it was not for praise or approval that we 
came out here. We came to follow in the steps of Him Who 
was despised and rejected of men, a Man of Sorrows and 
acquainted with grief. Perhaps this is one of the chief lessons 
we have to learn at a time when an extraordinary bitter hatred 
has been stirred up against us. "If they have called the 
Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of His 
household ! " He was kind to the unthankful and the evil. 
May we continue to do good, hoping for nothing again. At 
the end of my thirty years' episcopate it is far better to be 
thus following the Master's steps than receiving commendation 
and congratulations from men. 

It is the story of this man's life we seek to tell ; 
to trace it as a bounding, bubbling burn among the 
hills of youth, to watch it as it deepens and strengthens 
its channels in early manhood, and to follow it through- 
out its widening way carrying blessing to countless 
souls, until it passes from our mortal vision into the 
boundless ocean of Eternity. 


Be not amazed at life ; 'tis still 
The mode of God with His elect, 

Their hopes exactly to fulfil, 

In times and ways they least expect. 


IF we would follow the streams of life which met and 
mingled in the Cassels' family under the sunny skies 
of Portugal, we must trace them to their respective 
sources in Scotland and the west of England. On 
the father's side we find the family of Cassels 
originally spelt Cassillis among the hills of Ayr and 
Fife in Scotland, and on the mother's side we meet the 
family of Cox among the valleys of West England. 

For several generations the Cassels had been ship- 
owners at Borrowstounness on the Firth of Forth until 
the Bishop's great-grandfather, Andrew Cassels, moved 
to Leith. His son, Dr. James Cassels the Bishop's 
grandfather following the lead of so many of his 
countrymen, came south across the Tweed and set up 
as a physician at Kendal and Lancaster, where he 
married Mary Hodgson, the daughter of the Rev. 
Francis Hodgson of Bury. Kind-hearted, benevolent, 
and philanthropic, his thoughts were perhaps more 
for others than for himself and even for his own. The 
poor he attended free, and gave prizes to those who 
kept themselves off the rates. 

His youngest son, John Cassels, the father of our 
subject, was, in consequence of his father's disregard 



for this world's wealth, early plunged into the stern 
and hard school of life. Though of slight build 
physically he was a sturdy Christian, and from the 
first showed his strength of character by following his 
own convictions when called upon to mix with un- 
congenial companions. 

When still young he was sent to Lisbon to represent 
his cousin Robert Hodgson of Manchester, who in 
those days was a well-to-do merchant with connections 
in Portugal. Here young John Cassels soon made 
friendships with men of principle like-minded with 
himself, with whom he helped to found a school for 
the children of British subjects hitherto neglected. 
This was no easy task, for Roman Catholic influence 
was strong and unfriendly. On Sundays he gave 
lessons to the children from the Epistles, Gospels, 
and Collects for the day, and at his own expense 
employed a scholar to translate the English Prayer Book 
into Portuguese, which was subsequently published 
by the S.P.C.K. This school existed for some forty 
years, the buildings now being used for the British 
Hospital nearby the British Episcopal Church. 

After some four years in Lisbon he moved to 
Oporto, where he subsequently established his own 
business and spent the rest of his life. It was here he 
first met his future wife, and we must therefore leave 
him for the moment and turn our thoughts to the little 
market town of Painswick, among the Cotswold Hills in 
the west of England, whence his bride-to-be was to come. 

Here in the old homestead of " Olivers " we shall 
find Ethelinda Cox, a bright and attractive girl of 
eighteen years of age. For many generations her 
people had been owners of mills for the manufacture 
of the famous west of England cloth, and her father 
was also engaged in the same trade. He was a quiet, 

The Bishop's Father. 

To face fagc 6. 


sturdy old English gentleman, while her mother was 
a woman of marked character, with a face in which 
strength and sweetness mingled. She lived to be 
ninety-two, and her grandchildren the future Bishop 
among them stood in no small awe of her. 

Ethelinda Cox, though nursed in this secluded spot, 
had a wide and intelligent outlook upon life, for her 
mother, distantly related to Warren Hastings, by 
whom she was much admired, would talk to her of 
India, that great possession of the British Empire. Of 
her uncles, three were in the army, one in India, while 
another had served with Wellington in the Peninsula 
War and at Waterloo. And her eldest brother, John 
Cox, 1 was away as a missionary in India in connection 
with the London Missionary Society, where for the 
space of thirty years he lived the life of an ardent 
pioneer without once coming home. 

One of a family of twelve six boys and six girls 
Ethelinda was a lover of the open air. In the garden 
of her home she reserved a small sacred spot for quiet 
meditation and prayer, and nothing rejoiced her more 
than to get away for a tramp over the Cotswold Hills 
a freedom which in those days was accounted some- 
what wild and unmaidenly. She was one of those 
who, had she been asked " When are you most your- 
self ", would probably have answered : 

Not on glittered floors 

Fattened by dancing feet, 
But striding up cloudy hills, 

That are redolent of peat. 

In 1839, when only eighteen years of age, she bade 

1 His son, Dr. Cox, and his daughter, Miss M. E. Cox, who subsequently 
married Mr. Hollander, joined the ranks of the China Inland Mission. Mr. 
and Mrs. Hollander subsequently transferred to the American Episcopal 
Mission at Hankow, while Dr. Cox is to-day in charge of the C.I.M. Hospital 
at Jaochow. 


farewell to the old home, and ventured forth to the 
sunlit land of Portugal. Embarking at Liverpool in 
a small schooner she landed at Oporto after a voyage of 
fifteen days. 

The scene which broke upon her vision as she 
reached Oporto, that ancient stronghold of the Chris- 
tians against the attacks of the Moors, deserves a brief 
description here, for not only was she to find her future 
home in this locality for many years to come, but the 
subject of our story was to be born and nurtured in 
these surroundings. 

" Oporto stands on the steep and rocky North Bank 
of the Douro River, three miles from the sea. The 
houses, as they rise confusedly from the river's edge, 
some painted in strong reds, blues, and greens, some 
left whitewashed, and the majority retaining the granite 
grey of the stone they are built with, make up a very 
strange and beautiful panorama ringed, as the city is, 
by the encircling pine-covered mountains, and many 
of these houses stand embowered in the greenery of 

On the south bank of the river immediately opposite, 
and in those days connected by a suspension bridge, 
is the suburb of Villa Nova de Gay a, with a smaller 
population and extensive wine cellars. Here the well- 
known port wine is made in what the English call 
" lodges ", which are chiefly managed by English 

Oporto to-day is very much modernised with 
electric trams, but in those times the ox-carts were the 
only means of transport, unless one includes the women, 
who carried on their heads anything from a piece of 
soap to a heavy trunk, a chest of drawers, or a basket 
containing a pair of babies. With their full skirts 
bunched up below the waist, with a bright coloured 

The Bishop's Mother. 

To face page 3. 


shawl and a gay cotton handkerchief on the head tied 
under the chin, these women, with their bare feet or 
national soccos, made a picturesque scene. 

It was not unnatural that Ethelinda Cox and John 
Cassels should meet within the somewhat limited 
British community of Oporto, and as already recorded 
they plighted their troth in the garden of a mutual 
friend. On October 20, 1843, they were married at 
Painswick from the bride's old home, whence they 
shortly 'afterwards returned to Portugal. 

Into their home at Oporto, at one time north of the 
river and later in the southern country suburb, thirteen 
children were born, seven sons and six daughters, and 
of this goodly stock William Wharton was the ninth 
child and sixth son. He was born on March n, 1858, 
and was baptised just a month later in the British 
Consulate Chapel in Oporto, his first name William 
being after his mother's brother in Canada, and his 
second name Wharton after his brothers' tutor (from 
Repton) who became his godfather. 

It is not necessary to follow the fortunes of this 
large family, 1 save only to say that some adventured into 
the business world of South America, some founded 
their own homes in Portugal, the land of their birth, 
while others settled in the old home country of England, 
where their parents had been born, while one, the 
subject of our story, found his sphere of service in 

1 Of Bishop Cassels' brothers three, Walter, Herbert, and Francis, went 
to South America, one, John, became Chaplain in India, and two, James and 
Andrew, remained in Portugal, Herbert returning from South America to 
Portugal later. Of the six sisters, one died in infancy, four married Mrs. 
Alan Watts, Mrs. Cobb, Mrs. Bayne, Mrs. Nixon the other being Miss 
Bertha Cassels, whose home in England has been so much to her brother, 
the Bishop, and his children. 


God Who created me 

Nimble and light of limb, 
In three elements free, 

To run, to ride, to swim ; 
Not when the sense is dim, 

But now from the heart of joy, 
I would remember Hun ; 

Take the thanks of a boy. 


WHEN little William came as a sturdy babe into the 
home of John and Ethelinda Cassels at Oporto and 
began " with purrs and with coos to give them his 
views of the little world of his own ", he came to be 
no solitary and spoiled child, for the rooms of that 
home were already " musical with joyous strife of 
children's voices and the sweet hardihood of laughter ". 
With eight brothers and sisters older than himself he 
was from the first to profit by the healthy rivalry of the 
nursery, which was a fitting prelude to the keener 
competitions of the playground and the still sterner 
school of life. 

In that sunny and salubrious climate the home into 
which little William was welcomed was large and bare, 
with delightfully spacious rooms for the warm weather, 
and with a large garden ending in a wood of stately 
pines. Here his elder brothers and sisters revelled 
in nature, when free from the lessons given by their 
tutor, and here he too learned to love the open life. 

Of the home life of those joyous and care free days 



we are happily able to give a living picture from the 
pen of his brother Francis, specially written for these 

Since William was only eighteen months older than myself, 
it can be said we were cradled together. 

We belonged to a gloriously large family of thirteen, of 
which he was the ninth, and the sixth son. All but one 
reached a vigorous maturity, and ten of us were blessed with 
olive branches. 

The rough and tumble of such a community had full scope 
in the unconventional surroundings of the large " quinta ", in 
the suburbs of Oporto, where our parents resided, with its 
barn-like rooms, the large flower garden with a fountain in the 
middle, the prolific vegetable patches with here and there vines 
supported by tall rough-hewn stone uprights, maize plantations 
further out (and how much beauty there is in each individual 
maize plant) avenues of chestnut trees, and bordering the far 
end of the grounds, our father's cotton-printing works, which, 
as things were then, were considered quite a big concern. 

Our good mother was a believer in fresh air ; and in such 
an environment, and in such a superb climate as that of the 
north of Portugal, and with all kinds of domestic animals to 
interest us, we children required no urging to fall in- with her 

But life was not all spent in the open air and sunshine. 
Each morning there was family prayers, principally consisting 
of the Psalms of the day and collects from the Prayer Book, 
earnestly conducted by our father ; there were some short 
elementary lessons after breakfast ; and on Sundays those of 
us who were considered old enough, with our big pinafores 
discarded, sprucely arrayed, carefully groomed, and frequently 
inspected hours before setting out, were marshalled to attend 
the Consulate Chapel in the city some three miles distant. 
Generally as many of us as it was possible to fit in went in 
the big family wagonette, but sometimes we all walked, except 
perhaps my mother, who went on donkey-back. 

And the scene is recalled of the schoolroom in the long 
winter evening, lit by one tallow candle (to use the snuffers of 
which there was often a squabble), occupied by the lengthy 
tail of the family. We were easily amused in those days, 
playing dominoes, white horse, and such games. And then a 
call used to take us up to the drawing-room, where our mother 
read to us for a short time before bed- tune. And what she 
read is often more than a mere recollection : whenever the 


pages of Robinson Crusoe or Pilgrim's Progress are turned her 
voice and intonation seem to-day as consciously present as 
they were then. 

No children can owe more to their mother than we did to 
ours ; in childhood she was mother, nurse, doctor, teacher and 
priest ; in maturity she was still mother, and with it our most 
intimate and sympathetic friend, a friend gifted with great 
common sense, and able to take the particular of life that each 
had however different from those of the others, the holder of 
our secrets and encourager ; and ever remembering the needs, 
worries, and aspirations of each one of us in her prayers. 

Our father died when we were small children William 
must have been about eleven years and the burden of bringing 
us up was entirely on our mother's shoulders. Supreme as 
she was to us, while devoting herself to his care and he was 
an invalid for some time before his death we were constantly 
left in the charge of a nursery governess, whose well-meaning- 
ness was mixed up with a terrifying ultra-Calvinism, which 
she sometimes rubbed well into our young minds. In justice 
to her memory and faithful service, be it said, that she suffered 
from moments of great physical depression due to some liver 
trouble. Years after this good creature was fond of recounting 
to our wives and to our own children our childish peccadilloes. 
Perhaps her desire to be graphic led to a little exaggeration ; 
and sometimes she attributed these to whom they did not 
correspond. She always, for instance, insisted that it was 
Francis that emptied a pot of warm glue over William's head, 
whereas Francis has a vivid recollection of the results, lasting 
for days, of William's thus anointing him. 

She also used to insist that William as a child was given 
to exhibitions of a violent temper, hinting there was some moral 
lesson to be drawn at his turning out so good a man ; but I 
cannot remember that he had this trait, and think she must 
have been generalising from some particular case. On the 
contrary, towards me, his immediate junior and inseparable 
companion, to the best of my recollection, which in childhood 
is pretty good, he was then, and as boyhood went along, always 
fair and forbearing ; indeed, I can recall instances when he was 
too long-suffering, and should have turned and thrashed me. 

In regard to William's temper as a boy the other 
members of the family agree with the nurse and not 
with their brother Francis, whose forgiving spirit is 
evidently such that though William emptied the pot 


of hot glue over his head he thinks that he and not 
William ought to be thrashed ! We therefore venture, 
but without adducing the incidents remembered, to 
record that he sometimes gave way to tempestuous 
and violent outbreaks of passion as a lad, though he 
early learned the difficult lesson that he that ruleth his 
spirit is greater than he that taketh a city. 

The discipline of the large and ample family life 
at home and of the football field at school taught him 
self-control, and to be master of his spirit. Yet 
throughout life many who knew him best felt that 
behind his shy and reserved exterior there slumbered 
the pent up fires of a dormant volcano. 

To the picture of that life in Portugal portrayed by 
his brother we may add some further details supplied 
by other members of the family. The father, though 
engrossed in business, sought to encourage his children 
in the love of games. Before his marriage he frequently 
amused the young people of the English colony in 
Oporto with his magic lantern, and this was constantly 
produced at his children's parties in later days. He 
also delighted to disguise himself as an old lady or 
some other character, and appear to the surprise and 
merriment of the youngsters. 

This love of impersonation the children inherited 
from him, and there were great times and high glee 
when charades were performed in the home, even the 
cocks and hens from the garden being introduced, and 
once even the donkey ! This love of histrionics 
William carried with him to Cambridge, where he 
joined the College Dramatic Society, and during the 
vacations he acted in a simple way at home, but after 
his ordination he dropped all this. 

Music and other recreations also had their place in 
that home in Oporto, and in the winter evenings when 


the nights were cold, the mother would read aloud 
in the drawing-room to the children, as well as 
to their father who was often in delicate health. 
Chess, too, had its vogue, and this William learned 
to play in a darkened room when kept from more 
active pursuits by a serious attack of inflammation 
of the eyes. 

In the early days, when the elder members of the 
family were at lessons, the younger ones were allowed 
to play and do much as they liked in the shade of the 
vine-covered remadas, and on Sunday afternoons 
during the hot summer weather the mother would 
read to them in the wood from the Bible, or Pilgrim's 
Progress, and sometimes from some more difficult work 
beyond their comprehension. 

All this time, by example as well as by precept, they 
were taught to sympathise with and care for the less 
fortunate members of society. On the streets there 
were ever present maimed and deformed beggars, 
and some with loathsome sores. One such used to 
be laid in the streets on his bed, and another mentally 
deficient was nicknamed by the children " Mad 
Jenkins ". To all such the father and mother were 
kind and thoughtful, so that their children learned to 
follow in their footsteps of mercy. 

Ten happy and ever memorable years were thus 
spent by William in this Portugal home, and then the 
father being in delicate health and having retired from 
business the larger portion of the family left to settle 
in England. 

This breaking up of the old home was, of course, a 
time of great excitement for the young people who had 
never seen England before, and some of the family 
still remember how William with others rushed eagerly 
from side to side of the ship, as it slowly proceeded up 


(See page n.) 


To face page 14. 


the Thames, in their keenness not to miss any of the 
sights of England's great Metropolis. 

London was reached on March 25, 1868, just a 
fortnight after William's tenth birthday. Thus closed 
the Portugal chapter of his life. 




Lord, I would follow, but 

Who answers Christ's insistent call 
Must give himself, his life, his all, 
Without one backward look. 
Who sets his hand unto the plow, 
And glances back with anxious brow, 
His calling hath mistook. 
Christ claims him wholly for His own ; 
He must be Christ's and Christ's alone. 




Just as I am, young, strong and free, 
To be the best that I can be 
For truth, for righteousness and Thee, 
Lord of my life, I come. 


WITH the closing of the ten years in Portugal William 
Cassels entered upon a period of from sixteen to seven- 
teen years in England, roughly divided into his school- 
days at Stroud, Blackheath, and Repton, his three to 
four years at Cambridge, and his two and a half years 
as curate in London. 

After arrival in England from Portugal the parents, 
with those members of the family who had accompanied 
them, settled at Stroud, where William soon began to 
enjoy the larger liberties of life, for in Portugal he had 
mingled but little with the people, apart from those in 
his father's employ. Here at Stroud also he was 
introduced with his younger brother, Francis, into 
the routine of school life, but having in true school-boy 
fashion a greater relish for the playing field than for 
the classroom. 

Within nine months of settling at Stroud serious 
news x from Portugal caused the parents to return in 

1 James Cassels (the Bishop's eldest brother) had a somewhat dis- 
tinguished career in Portugal. As early as 1867 he built the first Protestant 
chapel in Oporto, and subsequently he and his brother Andrew were 
ordained by Dr. Plunket, the Archbishop of Dublin, who visited Oporto 
for this purpose. James Cassels' church, St. John the Evangelist, sup- 
ported his brother's work in China through the " Porto-China Fund " of 



haste to that country, while William, with his brothers 
and sisters, was left in the care of his grandmother 
Cox and a maiden aunt. 

Little did William Cassels and the other members 
of the family realise that they were saying farewell to 
their father for the last time. Frail in health he 
suffered considerably on the voyage, which he did not 
long survive. He died in Oporto on February 6, 1869, 
being laid to rest in the land where his children had 
been born, and where he was highly respected and 
greatly esteemed. 

What a serious bereavement he had sustained, 
young William Cassels, then barely eleven years old, 
would only faintly realise, but he learned in later years 
of the sterling excellencies of his father, and of his 
deep devotion to the Church of England, a devotion 
arrived at through personal conviction, for he had not 
been brought up in that Church. 

Of William's life at Stroud during his father's and 
mother's absence in Portugal we are fortunately able 
again to have the reminiscences of his younger brother, 
Francis, who writes as follows : 

William's school life began when he was about ten years 
old. The arcadia in Portugal had been left behind, and we 
were living in Stroud, Gloucestershire ; and he attended as a 
day-boy, a small school kept by a clergyman of the name of 
Baker. English school life fifty years ago and less was not the 
grand thing it is to-day ; and one of the objectionable features 
common to many preparatory schools then was that boys of 
all ages, from seven or eight years to eighteen years or over, 
were mixed together. Apart from other considerations, such 
as bullying hardly known nowadays if games are to be a 
feature in school life it is clear that the ages, sizes, and skill of 

which another brother, Herbert Cassels, was treasurer. In consequence 
of Roman Catholic opposition James was in 1868 sentenced to six years' 
banishment from the country. This sentence was annulled on appeal. It 
was this trouble that took Mr. and Mrs. John Cassels back to Oporto. 


the boys should not be as different as a three weeks terrier is 
from a fully grown fox-hound. There was some kind of foot- 
ball at this school, but the small fry were not expected to join 
in. I remember William's getting into sad disgrace by com- 
mitting what was considered a grave misdemeanour by those 
dear old ladies, our grandmother, aunt, and governess, who 
were looking after us in the absence of our mother, by running 
off to join in the game, and turning up hours after he was 
expected in a state of weariness and disorder. Proper toggery 
for football was hardly thought of in those days, certainly not 
in our case, as we were hardly removed from the aforesaid big 
pinafore stage of existence, which covered all defects beneath. 

In 1869, after the death of our father, we moved to Grooms 
Hill, in the higher part of Greenwich, where my elder brother, 
John, 1 was curate to Dr. Miller, the vicar of the town, a well- 
known preacher of the old Evangelical school ; to whose church 
we were taken twice a Sunday. The long and not very 
bright services were followed by his sermons of an hour or 
more, generally learned expositions of St. Paul's writings, 
together with the discomfort of sitting in the box-like pews, 
were no doubt a useful discipline for some of us children ; 
William, however, was a model of good behaviour and attentive- 
ness, and I recall his sometimes taking notes of the preacher's 

At the time of this move William entered, again as a day-boy, 
Percival House School, on the borders of Blackheath. Even in 
those spartan days it was soon recognised that our having to 
be at the first classes at 7 o'clock in the morning and nippy 
it was across the open heath in the winter's dawn was too 
much to expect from us ; so after a term. or two we became 
weekly boarders. 

Probably William, like myself, always associated the years 
spent here with football more than anything else. Indeed, I 
remember exchanging views with him as to the gloomy thing 
life, when we were grown up, would be without it. 

The rules and etiquette of rugger were not then standardised, 
as they were shortly after by the formation of the Rugby Union. 
But one of our school-fellows who, I understand, did brilliantly 
afterwards at Woolwich, had a genius for organisation. Under 
his captaincy a school fifteen was carefully selected, uniform 
jerseys and stockings were given out, proper goal and touch 

1 The Rev. John W. Cassels, educated at St. John's, Cambridge, where 
he graduated as a Wrangler, became curate to Canon Miller, Vicar of 
St. Alphege and St. Mary, Greenwich, and subsequently Vicar of St. 
Thomas', Batley, and then Chaplain in India. 


posts were acquired, and fixture cards were printed all of 
which seemed to us wonderfully correct and up to date, and 
corresponding to the high social standing of the school. William 
was perhaps the shortest man of the team ; but he was a thick-set 
and very sturdy boy, and was chosen as likely to do useful 
work in what we then termed " squash ups ", now known as 
' ' scrums . ' ' Some clubs played what was known as the ' ' hacking 
game " ; that was kicking the ball, and very often more or less 
accidentally, the shins of your opponents, in the squash ups. 
This kind of game, however, was very quickly universally 

Deliberately heeling out the ball behind was not considered 
by us quite the thing to do, although the rules, such as they 
were, may, strictly speaking, have allowed it. The tactics of 
both sides were nothing more or less than a mutual frontal 
attack in which attempt was made to push the ball through the 
enemy's first line, when it could be picked up ; and in this 
we at any rate found a small centre man, such as William, 
backed by the weight of the bigger men, important. 

If Waterloo was won on the Eton cricket fields, as Wellington 
is said to have declared, William's taking football as seriously 
as he did when a boy, presaged the whole-hearted earnestness 
with which he afterwards looked on life ; and no excuse is 
wanted for giving the foregoing details. I will only add that 
at Repton, whither he went in 1873, he obtained both his 
cricket and football colours ; * and that he was tried for the 
'Varsity Soccer Team at Cambridge ; but his leg was broken 
in a college game, and he gave up further playing. 

When at Percival House we learnt to swim. I have an idea 
that in this I was his better ; but perhaps the good fellow 
allowed me to think so which would have been just like him 
to have done so. 

Years after, referring to a pocket Communion Service that 
I had sent him, he told me that it was at the bottom of the 
Yangtze, where too, he laughingly added, he would also have 
been, on one of the times he was shipwrecked, if he had not 
learnt to swim in the Greenwich Public Baths. 

To all these schools I followed him, after the lapse of a 
term or two ; and he was indeed my guide, philosopher and 

1 His character as given in the School records is as follows : 

(1) In the School Cricket Eleven, 1877. " An unsuccessful bat, but a 
busy field." 

(2) A Football " Cap of Honour " ( = School team) in 1877. " A sturdy 
player, always well up to the ball and very determined. May always be 
relied on for good hard work. A good kick." 


T. William (standing) with his elder 
brother Herbert. 

3. William when at Percival House 

2. William (standing) with his younger 
brother Francis. 

4. William when at Repton. 

Toface/tage 22. 


friend on these occasions ; at Repton, however, he was above 
me in work and games, and the tradition of hierarchy of a big 
public school was duly observed by us. 

Incidents are forgotten, but the figure of a quiet, reserved 
boy, with an atmosphere about him indicating that there must 
be a great deal in him, who played hard, worked hard, a 
thorough sportsman (which in the highest sense he always was 
to the end of the chapter) remains. His reserve, which was 
something more than introspection, did not encourage especial 
friendships, either at School or College ; but that he was re- 
membered with affection was evidenced by the greetings he 
received at an Old Reptonian Dinner that we attended together ; 
several of our old school-fellows speaking to me about his 
having been " such a splendid fellow ". While his quiet and 
unostentatious influence was always for good, he was no 
" saint ". I remember his wanting to fight a sixth form boy ; 
his opponent was game enough to accept the challenge, but on 
account of his standing, mentioned the difficulty of keeping the 
meeting quiet ; so it was arranged that when on their way 
home at the end of the term, the principals with their seconds 
should get out from the train at the first convenient station, 
for the purpose of having their mill. This, however, did not 
take place, as friendly relations were re-established after a few 

I left Repton before William did, and drifted from one 
opening to another in the world of business ; and became also 
a constant visitor at Doubting Castle with Mr. Worldly Wiseman 
as my companion ; which is mentioned to show the nature of 
the talks that William and I had, when we met, and when 
these took a serious turn. He was by no means then, or ever, 
narrow-minded, although with my priggishness, I perhaps so 
considered and treated him. He always listened patiently and 
good-naturedly enough to my logic and sophistries and some- 
times answered them, but with time experience of life brought 
to me the common knowledge that the points of the cleverest 
argumentations will always be blunted when directed against 

Repton, where Cassels was from 1873 to 1877, 
enjoyed at that time a well-deserved reputation, 
largely owing to the influence of Dr. Pears, the Head- 
master. He found the school a Grammar School of 
the old type with only fifty boys, whose fortunes had 
fluctuated a great deal. He established it as a public 


school, and raised its numbers to two hundred and 
fifty. The first step in this growth had already taken 
place when Cassels was there. Happily we have other 
reminiscences of those days when Cassels was from 
fifteen to nineteen years of age, in addition to those 
of his brother. 

The Rev. H. Sykes, who became a missionary in 
Palestine, in a contribution too long to quote in full, 
writes : 

I do not recollect that Cassels and I were contemporary in 
any particular form room. Where our paths crossed was in 
the athletic part of our school life. We were both devoted to 
games. . . . 

Cassels was one of the indefatigables. I have quite a vivid 
recollection of the bowling style he developed, a longish run 
with a deep overhead medium paced delivery. But I think of 
him more as a football player than as a cricketer. In those 
" antediluvian " times our Repton game was a mixture of the 
Rugby and the Association games imported, I believe, from 
Harrow. Thus we had catching the ball, making our heel 
mark, and the right of a drop kick ; there was no running with 
the ball but we touched down behind the line of goal-post, 
took the ball back and kicked over a goal as in the Rugby 
game. We always used an oval ball. 

Well do I remember Cassels in that part of our school life. 
He was always in the very thick of the squash, and those 
squashes of " blues and reds " were sometimes of uncommon 
size in what was known as " The Hall Orchard ". Later the 
big sides were broken up and more order developed. But 
Cassels was ever a power in the squash. He always seemed 
to emerge from the middle with the ball. He never seemed 
to succumb to pressure. He was short, thick-set, with neck 
and shoulders unbendable. The ball out in play he was always 
after it and on it dribbling, being rather a " forward " than a 
" back ". Eventually he got his cap of honour, and right 
worthily so. 

Another mind-view of him is en route from his house a 
little distance off in the village to his school form room, his 
arm circling a load of books. I picture him thus against the 
" Barn " (old gymnasium) wall walking with bent head and 
shoulders, approaching the school arch of glorious beauty, and 
to all old Reptonians of ineffaceable memory. ... As a boy 


I always felt that there was another and deeper Cassels than the 
one outside. . . . The quiet consistency, the dogged per- 
tinacity that never gave in, and that went on until the game 
was finished, whether at cricket, football, or fives, was to serve 
its possessor well as missionary and missionary-Bishop. 

It was at Repton, too, that Cassels and Stanley 
Smith became acquainted. Of this friendship which 
was to mean so much to both and of those days, 
Stanley Smith writes : 

He and I were school-fellows together at Repton forty-nine 
years ago, and then our friendship was first formed. But as 
he was not in the same house we did not see much of each 
other. I well remember the enthusiastic welcome he got after 
playing a fine innings at a certain cricket match which got him 
his colours. 

In 1876 Granville Waldegrave (the present Lord Radstock) 
and I with another boy, Hogg, had a Bible reading and Prayer 
Meeting in a certain room over a tuck shop. We were all in 
Fowler's house (he was in Clucas's house). The next year a 
boy named Collins, son of one of the Church Missionary 
Society's pioneer missionaries in China, proposed that other 
houses should join, and at the first meeting there were eight 
present, among whom Cassels was one, C. H. Williams, a son 
of Sir George Williams, was another, and a Dundas Harford 
Battersby whose name was afterwards changed to Battersby 
Harford ; later on his brother John joined, whose name, Canon 
Harford of Ripon, is connected with the Keswick movement, 
of which his father, Canon Battersby, was one of the original 
promoters. This meeting developed into the Old Reptonian 
Prayer Union, which has now a world- wide membership. It 
is nice to connect the future Bishop with this schoolboy venture. 

The bonds then formed were not forgotten in later 
years at Cambridge, where there was established an 
Old Reptonian Prayer Union, which played its part in 
bringing three Reptonians into the Cambridge Band. 

In the autumn of 1877 William Cassels went up to 
Cambridge, joining St. John's, which was regarded as 
" the family College ", his uncle, Andrew Cassels, for 
forty years Vicar of Batley, and his elder brother, 


John, having been there before him. Of his three to 
four years at the University there is little that calls for 
special comment. He was never a " book- worm ", 
but rather a man of action, and he did not distinguish 
himself as a scholar, being perhaps more addicted to 
sport than books. To his football experience his 
broken leg and failure to gain his " blue " reference 
has already been made. As an undergraduate he was 
beloved by his college friends, earning for himself, 
by reason of his reserved and somewhat taciturn ways, 
the sobriquets of " Father Cassels " and " William 
the Silent ". 

In December, 1880, he took his B.A. in a Pass 
degree, with theology for his special, and for the next 
eighteen months continued to combine reading for 
his Bishop's Examination with private coaching. 

Before concluding this chapter a brief reference 
may be made to one or two of his vacations. While 
at Cambridge, and later when a theological student, 
he took a private tutorship during the vacations, going 
in this capacity to Burton-on-Trent and Scarborough. 
One of the chief qualifications demanded was that he 
should be able to teach cricket ! This would certainly 
not be the least congenial part of his task. In 1881, 
however, he spent his summer holidays abroad, joining 
his brother Herbert, who had business on the Con- 
tinent, for what was to have been a sea trip along the 
north coast of Spain and down the west of Portugal 
as far as Oporto. After spending a Sunday at St. 
Sebastian, on the borders of France, they took a dilig- 
ence as far as Bilbao, and there embarked in a " potty 
little Spanish coasting steamer to Santander". The 
poor little vessel was about the size of a fishing trawler, 
and probably empty, for though Herbert Cassels proved 
a good sailor, William " had an awfully bad time ". 


In view of this truly sickening experience the brothers 
landed at Santander, and in order to avoid " any more 
cockle-shell passages ", they travelled all night by land 
in an old-fashioned Spanish delligincia to their destina- 
tion. In spite of this bad beginning they declared 
they had had a really good time together or at least 
one of the party the good sailor did ! 


He had none of Ruskin's hatred of industrialism or of the great 
industrial cities. ... He loved natural beauty, but more than 
mountain or moor he loved men, and the city was no Inferno or 
Purgatory to him, but a great ocean of human life, whose storms 
and tides it was an exhilaration to breast and swim. 


YOUNG Cassels when he left the University to face 
life's sterner duties was about twenty-three years of 
age and in all the buoyant health of sturdy manhood. 
Happily he was in no doubt as to his vocation. From 
early years he had been conscious of God's call to 
service, and he " was not disobedient to the heavenly 
vision ". From a child he had known the Holy 
Scriptures which are able to make men wise unto 
salvation, and he had been possessed with an ever- 
deepening sense of his responsibility to proclaim their 

There are no records of any great spiritual crisis 
in his early life. Apparently he had not experienced, 
like the Apostle Paul, a sudden conversion changing 
the whole tenor of his being, nor had he, like the 
Philippian gaoler, passed through an earthquake ere 
he found his Saviour. Rather like Lydia, whose heart 
the Lord opened, had he greeted the dawning of that 

Light which shineth more and more unto the perfect 



day. But there was no doubt that the day had dawned, 
though he gives no date for his spiritual birth. The 
vows made for him at his baptism were redeemed by 
him as his soul awakened to the claims of God and his 

How early he recognised the call to the ministry is 
made clear by his brother Francis, who writes : 

Here I may mention that William must have been about 
twelve or thirteen years old, when he confided very solemnly 
to me as a secret that he had made up his mind to be a clergy- 
man. I have no idea what made him make this choice ; our 
mother may have influenced it ; and most certainly he would 
have gone to her about it. It was a great deal more than a 
boy's passing fancy, for there was never after any shadow of 
turning from this objective. I am unaware that, until the 
powerful call to go to China came to him, he had thoughts of 
any other field of work than in England. 

On June 4, 1882, he was ordained Deacon by the 
Bishop of Rochester, and Priest on June 10 a year later, 
the former service being at Purley and the latter at 
St. Mark's, Battersea. He was distinctly fortunate in 
the Vicar under whom he was called to commence his 
ministry as also in the parish itself, which offered fine 
scope for the development of his evangelistic gifts. 

The church was All Saints', South Lambeth, and 
the Vicar, the Rev. subsequently Canon Allen T. 
Edwards, a staunch Evangelical, and a much-beloved 
man of God. The manifold activities of this parish 
demanded many helpers, for there were no fewer than 
six Sunday Schools with an aggregate of some three 
thousand scholars. There were also thousands of 
railway men connected with the large Nine Elms Works 
of the London and South -Western Railway residing 
in the locality. On Sundays the church was crowded 
to its utmost capacity, the aisles being filled with chairs, 
and even the chancel steps and pulpit stairs being 


occasionally utilised. There was also a vigorous 
open-air work carried on incessantly by a devoted band 
of workers, many souls being pointed to Christ, not 
only by the Word preached, but by the consecrated 
song of a splendid choir. 

It was into this sphere of Christian activity that 
William Cassels came in June, 1882, throwing all his 
boundless energies and zeal into this glad service. 
And so much knit together did vicar and curate become 
that it was a common thing to hear the people say 
as they walked down the streets : " There go David 
and Jonathan ". To the work in the open air, or 
pulpit or Sunday School over one of which he acted 
as clerical superintendent he gave himself as wholly 
and unreservedly as he had formerly done to sport. 
He was ever a strenuous toiler, filled with almost 
boundless energy. Happily we are able to give one 
or two incidents which, like windows, let in a flood of 
light upon the life and spirit of the man in those days. 
The first is by his brother Francis, who, after comment- 
ing on a certain bashfulness or reserve which char- 
acterised his brother, tells the following story, which 
possibly happened when he was visiting his mother, 
who then lived at Vanbrugh Park, Blackheath : 

Be the foregoing (that is, his bashfulness) as it may, the 
following Incident will show that he did not shrink from the 
stare of highly respectable people, and the shoulder-shrugging 
of the man in the street, who, if he had been among them would 
probably have interpreted his proceeding as an unnecessary 
piece of theatrical samaritanism. The incident, it should be 
mentioned, happened just after his ordination ; he was dressed 
in his new clerical clothes ; that it was in mid- Victorian times, 
a decade before General Booth had issued his book In Darkest 
England, awakening our consciences to our responsibilities to 
the fallen and outcast, and long before " slumming " became 
a fashion. In one of the primmest parts of residential Black- 
heath, one late afternoon, at the hour when the stream of City 

When Curate at All Saints' Church, South Lambeth. 

To face fage 30 


men were returning to their villas, and otherwise people were 
most about, I met him taking the arm of an old woman, not 
the great lady she might have been with the care with which 
he was conducting her, but one of the saddest specimens of 
the sex that could be imagined, hardly more than an unsteady 
bundle of filthy rags, wobblingly crowned with what might 
have been a bonnet a dozen years before, and in a beastly state 
of drunkenness. I remonstrated with him, and offered to find 
a policeman, our natural protector from disorder, nuisance, and 
unseemliness ; but he quietly motioned me out of the way, 
and right down Maze Hill he steered the poor thing to her 
slum in East Greenwich. I would here remark that William 
was always particular about his clothes, and person, and this 
close proximity with loathsomeness must have occasioned in 
him physical feelings of nausea. 

Captain Albert Larking, now the well-known Secre- 
tary of the Early Closing Association, to whom we are 
indebted for the loan of some copies of the Parish 
Magazine 1 of those days, has also sent some interesting 
recollections, from which the following paragraphs are 
taken : 

It was in November, 1883, tnat I came to London and on 
the first Sunday evening found myself in All Saints' Church, 
South Lambeth, and for the first time heard that faithful 
servant of Christ, the Rev. Allen Edwards, then in the height 
of his power and popularity. One of his three Curates was 
Mr. Cassels, and it was to his charge the Vicar handed me on 
my presenting myself for the work as a Sunday School teacher. 
I can see him now, a dark, thick-set young man, full of life 
and energy, and possessing a very earnest zeal for his life's 
work. We became friends at once, and one of the very happy 
memories of those days were the Sunday afternoon teas we 
had together in his lodgings in one of the unattractive streets 
of South Lambeth (153 Harrington Road) . He was the Clerical 
Superintendent of the many Sunday Schools attached to All 
Saints', the total number of children attending then being 
three thousand. His dominating personality over the big rough 
lads had a marked effect on their unruly spirits. But he would 
stand no nonsense from them if they challenged his authority. 

Notwithstanding his brief term of work at All Saints', he 

1 The South Lambeth Record and All Saints' and St. Augustine's Parish 


undoubtedly left his mark on those who came under his spell. 
I remember his great interest in the costers in Wandsworth 
Road. They came to him on Friday to borrow money to stock 
their barrows for Saturday's market. Instead of lending them 
money, which might have been spent in drink that night, he 
arranged to go with them to Covent Garden often before 
daybreak on Saturday morning to purchase fruit, flowers, and 
vegetables. And he was proud of the honesty of these men in 
paying him back the money borrowed. 

His great factor in life was undoubtedly in "the power of 
prayer ", and Mr. Cassels seldom visited any home, rich or 
poor, without he and those whom he visited spending some 
portion of the time in prayer. He won our affections, but 
what is more, he taught us that to live was not simply to 
scramble into Heaven ourselves, but that the whole earth was 
the Lord's, and to the whole earth His Kingdom must be 

In addition to these snapshots, with their almost 
photographic detail, we happily are able to turn to the 
pages of the Parish Magazine itself for further in- 

Each issue of the magazine is prefaced with a 
calendar for the month, and these give the fixtures 
for each day and reveal a vast scope of work. But a 
few extracts from the Parish Notes will best bring us 
into touch with those days of more than forty years 
ago. Thus we read : 

There were twenty-one baptisms and six hundred and 
ninety-two communicants at All Saints' in December (1883), 
and one hundred and eighty-one communicants at St. Aug- 

The Sunday School continues to increase. A new Infants' 
School will be commenced early in January. 

Another serious and fatal accident has occurred at Nine 
Elms. Two men, named West and Isaacs, were run over by 
an engine on Friday, the 2ist. West was killed on the spot 
and Isaacs had both his feet amputated. They were both 
South Lambeth men, and a deputation of railway men have 
asked the Vicar to preach a sermon in reference to the event. 
The sermon will be preached on January 6th. 

A Christmas dinner was given in The Institute to two 


hundred and sixty-six people, who otherwise would have been 
without one ; ... it is in contemplation to give a tea to eight 
hundred adults early in January ; and seventeen hundred All 
Saints' Sunday School children will be regaled with tea and 
amusements before the end of the month. 

There was a midnight service on New Year's eve at All 
Saints', St. Augustine's, and St. Gabriel's Mission. The sermon 
at All Saints' was preached by the Vicar, that at St. Augustine's 
by the Rev. W. W. Cassels, and that at St. Gabriel's Mission 
by the Rev. John B. Chandler, Vicar of Witley. 

These are but a few items in one issue. Let us 
turn these time-stained pages, and glean a few more 
facts. In the same number we find the report of a 
drawing-room meeting, presided over by the Rev. 
W. W. Cassels, held on behalf of the Spanish and 
Portuguese Church Aid Society, when the Rev. Juan 
B. Cabrera, Bishop-elect of the Reformed Spanish 
Church, spoke. Without giving further details the 
concluding paragraph of this report will suffice to show 
the link William Cassels desired to retain with the land 
of his birth. 

Mr. Cassels is on the London Committee of this excellent 
Society, and will be pleased to supply collecting cards or boxes 
to any who will interest themselves in the great work. . . . We 
have a great home mission work to do in South Lambeth, but 
we must not forget the work abroad, but bear it in our re- 
membrance, mention it in our prayer, think of it in our alms- 
giving. We specially commend this Society to our readers. 
They may hear something further about it from All Saints' 
pulpit before long. 

In another issue we find a full page, evidently written 
during the month of August, 1884, bearing the well- 
known initials W. W. C., from which article some lines 
must be quoted. 

South Lambeth has gone from home, the houses bear a 
melancholy aspect, the churches are not exactly crammed, the 
streets are destitute of life and animation. 



South Lambeth may be very largely found at Ramsgate, at 
Brighton, and at Eastbourne. We have heard of it in Devon- 
shire, in Cornwall, and in the Isle of Wight. And that part 
which has not gone so far is strolling about Battersea Park, 
drinking tea at Greenwich, or picking hops in Kent. 

South Lambeth has gone for a holiday ; but how sadly 
that word has lost its meaning. Would that every holiday 
were once more a holy day, with " Holiness to the Lord " 
written on all its moments. Too often the world's leisure time 
is the busy season with the powers below. . . . 

In these days of high pressure a great deal more calm 
waiting before God is needed, and there is no better place for 
this than the open field, or the hillside, consecrated by our 
Lord's example to this very purpose. 

But South Lambeth must come back again. Holiday and 
rest and quiet' are but means to an end. . . . South Lambeth 
must come down from the mountain side, strengthened by its 
glimpses of the Heavenly world, to do the work which awaits 
it down below. 

As we turn a few more pages we come across a 
sermon preached by the Rev. W. W. Cassels on the 
two texts, " I am the Light of the world ", and " Arise, 
shine, for thy light is come ". After referring to light 
being able to pass through the most polluted medium 
undefiled and undefilable, he closes his discourse with 
some practical words on shining, which are suggestive 
of his own character. 

As to the modes of shining, he said, (i) Shine steadily. 
A nickering light is most unpleasant and may be dangerous. 
[Here illustrations are given from dangerous roads and pre- 
cipices when the lantern nickers, which he certainly would 
experience in later life in China.] Oh, how much harm we 
do by the unsteadiness of our light. Nobody can trust us. 
We can be of no real service to any benighted traveller. . . . 
(3) Shine in proportion to opportunity. " Be a lamp in the 
chamber if you cannot be a star in the sky. Gladden the 
home circle if you cannot illuminate the town." We have not 
all great opportunities, but we can all do something. We can 
weep with the mourner if we cannot relieve him ; we can 
bestow personal service if we cannot give gold ; we can be a 
support to the household if we cannot be a pillar in the church ; 


we can teach children in the Sunday School if we cannot preach 
to hundreds of men and women. 

Dear brother, you may be hidden away in a little corner, 
unknown to the world, but oh, illuminate that obscure spot, 
and see that your rays penetrate the darkness. 

He was not speaking about what he did not attempt 
to do himself. Into the dark and sometimes sorrowing 
homes of the people he would go carrying the radiance 
of the Gospel story and of his own enjoyment of it. 
And sometimes in the least likely quarter he would 
find some one who was seeking to gladden the home 
if he could not illuminate the town. Of one such who 
was " spreading sheer joy " in the sick chamber his 
brother Herbert has written : 

I remember at South Lambeth he took me to see one of 
the happiest faces I have ever seen. It was that of a poor 
cripple lying on his back on a bed from which he never got 
up. He was working at a shawl or something of that sort 
with as bright a face as ever I expect to see this side of Jordan. 

But Cassels' stay at Lambeth was to be but short. 
For long he had thought of the foreign field, and now 
its call had become insistent. The duty of shining in 
the dark and obscure places constrained him to launch 

In the following letter, treasured by one of his 
parishioners, 1 we find evidence that he was still in 
close touch with his old school-fellow, Stanley Smith : 

July i6th, 1884. 

MY DEAR WILLIE I hope you will have a very happy and 
pleasant holiday ; and come back much refreshed and strength- 
ened. We shall be glad to see you amongst us again. Where 
do you propose going ? 

Did you get anyone for your class in the afternoons, or 

1 Mr. William Hayes, now Accountant of the C.I.M., Newington Green, 
London, N. 


shall I get one of our substitutes ? I value your help down at 
Hemans Street so much, and I wish you could be with us when 
Stanley Smith comes (zSth). 

May God go with you and be with you. Your affectionate 


Here we get into touch with the growth of the well- 
known Cambridge Band, and some extracts from a 
recent letter from Stanley Smith will recall one part 
of that story. 

From February 3-17, 1884, I held a Mission at Clapham 
Conference Hall with E. J. Kennedy of the Y.M.C.A. who 
afterwards was ordained in the Church of England. " Will " 
(as I have called him for long years) was then a curate under 
Canon Allen Edwards, and lived not far from the Hall ; he 
used to come nightly, and after the meeting we had some arm 
in arm walks and heart to heart talks about the Lord and 
China, to which country I was going. His interest in China 
began then. 

On July 28th my diary reads : " Went to Cassels, 153 
Harrington Road . . . went out and sang on the streets, and 
then addressed different groups, they seemed very much im- 
pressed ; afterwards we swept into a room, and I trust some 
nine or ten decided for Christ ; had an interesting talk with 
Cassels, he is much interested in China. May the Lord send 
him out with me ! " Within a month the decision came and 
the answer to that prayer. 

The following entry is on August i8th. " Went down to 
see Cassels at Lambeth. Had a nice talk at lunch, went with 
him to the church, had an hour's blessed waiting on the Lord, 
the Lord drew near, I trust he now sees his way definitely to 
go out to China." As a fact, he decided then. 

As a churchman Cassels' original intention was to 
go out under the Church Missionary Society. He 
therefore offered himself to that Board, but as he 
expressed a strong desire for work in inland China he 
was told that they were not then prepared to start 
another Mission in the far interior. But Cassels was 
too much on fire with missionary zeal to be turned 


back, and therefore approached the China Inland 
Mission, by which Mission D. E. Hoste and Stanley 
Smith had already been accepted. 

The thought of his going abroad was a sore trial 
to his widowed mother, for of her seven sons he was 
the only one left to her in England. In her distress 
she visited Pyrland Road, and remonstrated with 
Mr. Hudson Taylor. In his kind and considerate 
way he comforted her by saying that to him a parent's 
wishes were sacred, and if she really was opposed to 
her son going to China the Mission would not en- 
courage him to do so. At the same time we may be 
sure Mr. Taylor earnestly prayed that the mother 
might not stand in her son's way, if he had heard God's 
call. And such prayerful sympathy was not in vain, 
for ere many days had passed the following letter was 
received by Mr. Taylor : 


ist October 1884. 

DEAR MR. TAYLOR Having mentioned the subject already 
to you I feel that I must say another word, though it's more 
in reference to myself than to my son. But it is so evident 
that he sees it to be his duty and his privilege to enter upon 
the Chinese Mission work, that I should only take the part of 
a bad Mother to one of the best of sons if I continued to put 
thorns in his sufficiently difficult road by urging him to take 
any other course, so I must follow, for I could not have led 
to the course he feels he is led to, and I will try and claim 
God's gracious promises for him, and for all your work at large. 
Very truly yours, 


And we are told by one of the family that his 
mother never regretted her decision. 

With his mother's blessing obtained Cassels now 
offered to the China Inland Mission, was accepted, 


and commenced at once to prepare for work abroad. 
On November 8 his farewell meeting was held in the 
parish of South Lambeth, when a presentation was 
made him of two medicine chests, one a portable one 
for travelling, and the other a more substantial one 
for station use. 

In acknowledging these gifts and the kind words 
spoken by eleven persons who voiced the feelings 
of the people, Cassels, speaking under evident emotion, 
said : 

My dear friends, none of you know the difficulty of speaking 
on such occasions as this. No one knows how utterly words 
go away and ideas vanish. I do thank you from the bottom 
of my heart for the great kindness you have shown in giving 
me these very handsome and useful articles. I am thankful 
you have chosen things which will be useful and materially 
help me in my work. I again thank you for your tribute of 
love from the bottom of my heart ... I deserve, as is well- 
known, nothing at all at your hands, and I do think it exceed- 
ingly kind of you. . . . 

I never can tell you the lessons I have learned, and how 
wonderfully God has blessed me in my soul. I have learned 
many things of which I was previously ignorant altogether in 
my labour together with you all. Dear fellow- workers, I feel 
it difficult to part with you utterly greater than many of you 
imagine for the tie is so close between us that it will be a 
very great wrench in one sense, and yet in another it will be 
very little, as I feel we are not separated altogether. . . . You 
know my heart even though I cannot speak the words. We 
know each other so well that you must forgive me for my 
stammering utterances. Nothing can separate us from the 
love of God and the Blood which was shed for us nothing 
can break that tie, thank God. 

On the following Sunday, November 9, Cassels 
preached his farewell sermon. But though he said 
farewell the bond of love was not to be broken, for a 
band of praying friends was formed, and the stirring 
appeals which he later sent home from the field so 
fanned the flame of interest in the hearts of these that 


within the next five years six 1 of them followed him 
to China, one of whom, Miss Mary Louisa Legg, 
became his wife. 

But the story of his last few weeks in England must 
be reserved for another chapter. 

1 Miss M. L. Legg, one of the Fountain Street Boys' teachers ; Miss E. 
Culverwell followed ; then Miss Bastone, a worker in the same school as 
Miss Legg ; then Mr. J. N. Hayward, a lay-worker in the parish and 
superintendent of one of the Sunday Schools ; then Miss F. Culverwell, 
and Miss Martin, afterwards Mrs. J. N. Hayward. 


Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto treasure hid in a 
field ; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy 
thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. 

ST. MATTHEW xiii. 44. 

WE have now reached a point where the life of William 
Cassels was caught up by and became part of a remark- 
able spiritual and missionary movement, which swept 
through many of the churches and universities of 
Great Britain, stirring the hearts and minds of thou- 
sands. We cannot isolate his story from the story of 
the Missionary Band of which he became a member. 
That Band must therefore occupy our attention 
throughout this chapter. 

It is unhappily quite impossible to-day by the 
medium of cold print to convey to the reader any 
adequate sense of the glow and gladness of the mis- 
sionary enthusiasm which, towards the close of 1884 
and the beginning of 1885, swept like a wave over 
many parts of England and Scotland, through the 
going forth of " The Cambridge Seven ". This 
enthusiasm was only part of a greater work of grace 
which had preceded it and of which it was born. 
Directly and indirectly through the Missions of Moody 
in Cambridge, Brighton, London, and elsewhere, the 
way had been prepared for this outburst of missionary 

In the preceding chapter we have already stated 

4 o 


that D. E. Hoste, Stanley Smith, and William Cassels 
had offered to the China Inland Mission. As early 
as November, 1884, it was announced in China's 
Millions that Mr. Hudson Taylor hoped to sail for 
China in December with this band of three, but war 
in the Far East between China and France, and the 
deep interest aroused at home, both called for a brief 
delay. Early in November C. T. Studd joined the 
band, then Montagu Beauchamp, and ere the party 
sailed, the two brothers Cecil and Arthur Polhill- 

Extraordinary enthusiasm was aroused throughout 
the country, and especially among the students at the 
Universities, by the personnel of the party. Meetings 
were held in Liverpool, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, 
Greenock, Newcastle, Leeds, Rochdale, Manchester, 
Bristol, and at Oxford, Cambridge, and London, to 
which no description can do justice. At Edinburgh 
professors and students were seen together in tears, 
and in the after meetings there was the uncommon 
sight of professors dealing with students and students 
with one another. 

There is, perhaps, no better way of bringing the 
reader into touch with those days themselves than by 
quoting what was written by Dr. Eugene Stock, in 
his fascinating history of the Church Missionary 
Society : 

One of the most important events of the period, he 
wrote, was both a fruit, indirectly, of Moody's work, and a 
fruitful parent of other and larger movements. This was the 
going forth of the famous " Cambridge Seven " to China. 
Extraordinary interest was aroused in the Autumn of 1884 by 
the announcement that the Captain of the Cambridge Eleven 
and the stroke oar of the Cambridge boat were going out as 
missionaries. These were Mr. C. T. Studd and Mr. Stanley 
Smith ; and very soon they were joined by five others, viz., the 
Rev. W. W. Cassels, curate of All Saints', Lambeth ; Mr. 


Montagu Beauchamp, a nephew of Lord Radstock, and also 
well-known as a rowing man ; Mr. D. E. Hoste, an officer in 
the Royal Artillery ; and Messrs. C. H. and A. T. Polhill- 
Turner, sons of a late M.P. for Bedford, the former an officer 
in the 6th Dragoon Guards, and the latter a Ridley Hall 
theological student, and both of them prominent Eton and 
Cambridge cricketers. Mr. Studd's dedication of himself to 
the mission-field, and Mr. Hoste's conversion to God, were 
direct results of Moody's Missions in London and Brighton. 
The influence of such a band of men going to China as 
missionaries was irresistible. No such event had occurred 
before ; and no event of the century has done so much to 
arouse the minds of Christian men to the tremendous claims 
of the Field, and the nobility of the missionary vocation. The 
gift of such a band to the China Inland Mission for truly it 
was a gift from God was a just reward to Mr. Hudson Taylor 
and his colleagues for the genuine unselfishness with which 
they had always pleaded the cause of China and the World, 
and not their own particular organization, and for the deep 
spirituality which had always marked their meetings. And 
that spirituality marked most emphatically the densely-crowded 
meetings in different places at which these seven men said 
farewell. They told, modestly and yet fearlessly, of the Lord's 
goodness to them, and of the joy of serving Him ; and they 
appealed to young men, not for their Mission, but for their 
Divine Master. No such Missionary Meeting had ever been 
known as the farewell gathering at Exeter Hall on February 4, 
1885. We have become familiar since then with meetings more 
or less of the same type, but it was a new thing then. 

Though the weather was tempestuous and rain 
came down in sheets, the platform, area, galleries, and 
every nook and corner of Exeter Hall were crowded to 
their utmost capacity. Sir George Williams presided, 
and each member of the out-going band addressed the 
crowded company, but we must limit our quotation 
to a report of what were the last words spoken in 
public by William Cassels ere he sailed for China. 

Mr. Cassels said he was talking the other day to a man in 
a railway train who had travelled in China. He was one of 
those people who considered that every religion was of about 
the same value, and when he heard he (the speaker) was going 


to China to preach the Gospel there he thought it was a most 
presumptuous thing to do. He proceeded to say how wise 
and clever the Chinese were, and he told him that all his argu- 
ments would be defeated. He felt at the time that, from his 
point of view, this man was distinctly right ; but there was 
one consideration which he did not bring to bear when he 
was speaking, and it was that which made all the difference. 
They were going to China because they knew that the Gospel 
was the power of God unto salvation. Thank God, they 
knew that was not merely theory or speculation. They were 
going because they knew it was so by experience. They had 
not only themselves tried that Gospel, but they had seen its 
power in others. They had seen the sinner turned from his 
evil ways, they had seen a drunkard turned from his evil 
course, and they had also seen a strong man bowed in tears 
under the conviction of the truth. They had likewise seen 
weak women strengthened, and go out to do heroic deeds, 
because they believed in the Lord. They therefore knew the 
power of God ; and He had no less power in China than He 
had in England. 

Their expectations were very great, and they knew they 
would not be disappointed. They felt certain that they would 
see the Chinese turn to God just as the sinner did in England 
when the Gospel was applied to their hearts. What an im- 
measurable power of good there would be if all those present 
were to rise as one man and speak the Word of God ! But if 
they believed in God, why should they not do His work ? 

They wanted more heroism in their religion. They wanted 
to be inspired with the idea that the religion of Jesus Christ 
was a battle, and they must join in the warfare and go for- 
ward. But, alas ! how few they were who joined in the 
warfare ! They read in the Bible of Reuben, who preferred 
attending to his sheep and his country village to the danger of 
war ; of Gilead, who would not risk the passage of the Jordan ; 
and also of Dan, who was engaged in his commerce. All those 
things were being enacted now. There were to be found 
many who preferred their own affairs to encountering the 
difficulties of preaching the Gospel in heathen lands. The 
battle was going on, and still the Lord was crying for helpers 
to go to the help of the Lord against the mighty. Thank 
God some came. But, alas ! how many there were who still 
held aloof. There were still Reubens in that very gathering, 
who preferred their ease and comfort to the work of God. 
There were Gileads and Dans, who preferred attending to 
their own affairs rather than serve the Lord. Oh, for shame, 


that He Who gave His own life on the Cross should still be 
crying for helpers. God had said again and again, " Be strong 
and of good courage ", so why should they shelter themselves 
under their own fears and weaknesses. He had no pity for the 
man who starved himself when there was food to eat, and no 
pity for the woman who talked about her weaknesses when 
God had placed power at her disposal. He had no sympathy 
with the invalid Christians, because God had power at their 
disposal. If there were any present who were in a state of 
inactivity, the Lord was speaking to them, and saying, Arise 
from that inactivity as He was calling for helpers. 

It is not part of our story to follow the influence 
of this movement at home. It must suffice to say that 
at Cambridge alone forty men at one meeting dedicated 
themselves to the missionary cause, and many did the 
same elsewhere. It certainly was used of God to 
prepare the way in Great Britain for the Student 
Volunteer Movement, which came into being soon 

The manifest joy of these men in leaving all to 
follow Christ was contagious. Their 's was no re- 
luctance in obeying Christ, but rather an overmastering 
passion. Like the Apostle Paul, Cassels and his 
companions counted all things loss for the excellency 
of the knowledge of Christ Jesus. 

What it cost Cassels to leave his mother, and what 
it cost his mother to surrender her son may be gathered 
from a letter she wrote him on the last Sunday night 
they were together, a letter he treasured till the day of 
his death. 

Sunday night, 
February ist, 1885. 

MY DEAREST WILLIAM I want to say some last words to 
you, but words seem to fail me. Nothing of my own is 
sufficient either for myself or for you, nothing but the sure 
Word of promise will do, and you seem to me like a sacred 
thing, taken from us, and upon which I must not put a hand, 
or tie any cord, even of love, to hinder you. May God not 


despise the feebleness of my faith in giving you, and may we 
still not feel separated, but meet together before the Throne 
of Grace. I want to go to Him to supply all my need, here in 
our own home. I want blessings, true and real, to come down 
on the dear sisters here, and in their work around them. . . . 

For you, my son, the many promises we have in Old and 
New Testament that " I will be with thee " seem the most 
supporting, to Moses, Joshua, Jeremiah, and many others, and 
through faith they obtained the promises. . . . 

There will be strength for you and comfort for me in all 
the many, many promises and Words of God, which He has 
given us. You must lay your head, in the time of trouble and 
when you stand alone amidst idolaters, in " His pavilion ", 
and He will set you on a rock, " secretly in His pavilion from 
the strife of tongues ". 

Oh, may no man set on thee to hurt thee. May the Lord 
keep you, my boy, tender and well beloved, as you have been 
to me. My pillows may be taken from you, and cannot do 
you much service, but " the Lord shall cover you all the day 
long " and you shall dwell between His shoulders. 

I cannot tell you all I feel for you. Oh pray that I may 
not be found with a starless crown at the last. Ye all are my 
crown and my rejoicing. May it be so. I am glad friends 
pray for me as well as for you. Ever your loving Mother, 
absent though present, 




Ah, it was no easy march, no holiday pageant, the coming of the 
Son of God into this world of ours. He came to save sinners. Not 
to help good men this were a grateful task ; but to redeem bad 
men the hardest work in God's universe. It tasked the strength 
and the devotion of the Son of God. Witness Gethsemane. And 
it will cost His Church something, more haply than we dream of 
now, if the work of the Redeemer is to be made effectual, and the 
travail of His soul satisfied. G. G. FINDLAY. 



Whoso hath felt the Spirit of the Highest 
Cannot confound nor doubt Him nor deny ; 

Yea, with one voice, O World, tho' thou deniest, 
Stand thou on that side, for on this am I. 

F. W. H. MYERS. 

ON the morning of February 5, 1885, the morrow of 
the farewell meeting a day ever memorable for its 
announcement of General Gordon's death Cassels 
bade farewell to his mother and loved ones, and with 
the other members of the Missionary Band set forth 
for China. Leaving Victoria they travelled overland 
via Brindisi and Alexandria to join their ship, the 
Kaisar-i-Hind, at Suez. 

All their heavy luggage had long since gone on 
board, and Cassels' baggage was so labelled that there 
was no mistaking the master passion of the man. In 
bold block capitals he had had printed, in red, on large 
labels the two words " GOD FIRST ", and these were 
conspicuously pasted on all his belongings. His zeal 
and love were all ablaze and could not be hid. Such 
labels " stamps " he "called them heralded on board, 
long before the party arrived, the spirit of the men 
who were coming, while among the parishioners in 
South Lambeth these two words long lived as the 
farewell message of their beloved friend. For many 
years to come this motto was to be found framed and 
hung in the homes of the parish. 

" God First " ! It was this that constrained him 

49 E 


to leave England, and it was this that was henceforth 
to dominate his whole life. And nothing ever dulled 
the edge of this devotion. Forty years of toil in a 
pagan land, amid untoward conditions, tested but never 
quenched this first love. To the end he was always 
keen and ardent, never hike-warm. 

The blessing experienced at home continued on the 
voyage, the power of God to save being manifest by 
some striking conversions among passengers and crew. 
One of the more remarkable cases was that of a captain 
whose Godless conduct had been notorious. Not only 
was he soundly converted, but he became as pronounced 
a witness for Christ as previously he had been antagon- 
istic. There was in consequence no small stir on board, 
and many accepted Christ as Lord. 

One previously sceptical passenger wrote : 

We expected no end of fun in quizzing them (the Missionary 
party), intending to patronise their singing as a polite con- 
cession to mistaken enthusiasm. So with that in view, when 
the first evening came, we gathered round, but when we heard 
the deep swelling notes in which they so earnestly sang " Christ 
receiveth sinful men ", and after a few stirring words of earnest 
appeal, went on in a gentle solo with those simple words, " Let 
the dear Master come in ", it seemed to touch even the most 
callous. Tears would come into the eyes of many. ... So 
were the evenings spent, singing ending about 10 P.M., but not 
their work. 

Nor was this all. At the various ports of call 
Christian friends, anxious to buy up the brief hours 
of the ship's visit, had arranged for local gatherings, 
that they too might be brought into touch with this 
work of God. 

At length on Wednesday, March 18, Shanghai was 
reached, and the party received a warm welcome to 
the Land of Sinim by Hudson Taylor himself, though 
he, being dressed in Chinese costume, was not recog- 
nised at first. 


It is always a great moment for any man when he 
first sets foot upon the foreign shore for which he has 
forsaken the land of his fathers. Happily there are 
some of Cassels' letters still preserved which reveal 
his thoughts at that impressive hour. 

Writing to his mother on the day of arrival he 
begins : 

Here we are, dearest Mother, brought by our Heavenly 
Father's wonderful love and goodness in perfect safety to this 
dear country. How full my heart is this evening at the thought 
of really being in China ! How great are the longings which 
rise up that I may in all things be faithful and true to Him 
Who Himself never fails ! But resolutions and vows are use- 
less unless we also cast ourselves completely on Him " Who is 
able to keep us from falling and present us faultless ", etc. The 
secret of the command, " Be strong " is always in the " I am 
with you ". 

Three days later he writes his mother again ; this 
time a lengthy epistle with descriptions of the Mission 
Home, of the Chinese city, and of Archdeacon Moule's 
call and escort to see some Christian work, etc. The 
dominant notes are, however, revealed by the two 
following paragraphs : 

But oh ! how my heart goes up to God at the sight of 
these crowds of Chinamen, that He would raise up His power 
and come among us, that He would speedily flood this place 
with a very tidal wave of blessing ! And why not ? If there 
are tidal waves in nature which completely flow over whole 
districts, why not a tidal wave in grace ? 

I have been feasting lately on those wonderful promises in 
St. John. " Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give 
him shall never thirst ", and " He that cometh to Me shall 
never hunger, and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst ". 
Never hunger and never thirst ! Oh, how blessed to think 
that all through what might otherwise be dreary journeys in 
China, and solitary days and weeks, I shall never hunger and 
never thirst. There will be perpetual satisfaction and per- 
petual streams of never-failing water ! How glorious ! The 
Lord is a never-failing portion. 


Similar sentiments occur in letters to other friends, 
such as this : 

It may well be imagined that it was with very full hearts 
that we set foot for the first time upon the soil of this dear 
country to which the Lord has called us. What, it may be 
asked, was the first thought that entered our minds as we 
walked through these streets and gazed upon the number of 
Chinese that met us at every turn ? I answer at once, it was 
an almost overwhelming thought of the enormous work which 
has to be done. . . . We felt more than ever that nothing but 
a mighty outpouring of the Spirit of God can be of any use. 

That God's Spirit was outpoured was speedily 
manifest in Shanghai and elsewhere. Perhaps the 
most striking illustration of this in Shanghai was given 
by the British chaplain, who was in charge of the 
cathedral. So great a change came into his life at this 
time that he called it his conversion. He publicly 
acknowledged that, though he had in the past honestly 
sought to do his duty, and had, he believed, preached 
the truth as he then knew it, he had never until that 
day been able to commit his own soul wholly to the 
Saviour's care. Such words from the British chaplain 
came upon Shanghai almost like a thunderbolt, and 
produced a great impression. 

After a week of special meetings the band of seven 
donned Chinese costume and prepared for residence 
inland. Messrs. C. and A. Polhill (Turner) and C. T. 
Studd travelled up the Yangtze and Han rivers with the 
city of Hanchung in the north-west as their destination, 
while Messrs. Cassels, Hoste, and Stanley Smith, under 
the able escort of Mr. F. W. Bailer, left by sea for the 
north en route to Shansi. For a time Mr. Beauchamp 
remained behind in Shanghai, subsequently following 
the northern party. 

The reasons for thus dividing and travelling by 


different routes are given by Cassels in a letter to his 
mother as follows : 

(1) It is not probable that the Consuls would grant passports 

for so large a number to go together inland. 

(2) Even if they would it would probably be unwise in the 

present state of the country to attempt to travel in 
one party. 

(3) By thus dividing it is hoped that we may be able to 

visit a large number of Mission stations, get a good 
idea of the work, and bring refreshment to the solitary 
missionaries that we hope to visit. 

Both at Tientsin and Peking Cassels, Hoste, and 
Stanley Smith enjoyed a continuance of the times of 
blessing experienced elsewhere. Indeed, if anything, 
the days in Peking were more noteworthy. 

Of the journey to the capital and of their experi- 
ences Cassels wrote a long and graphic account to his 
mother, which must be quoted almost in full. 

May ist, 1885. 

MY DEAREST MOTHER I might write a great deal about 
Peking, and at considerable length also of the way we spend 
our time here, and of the quite remarkable movement among 
the dear missionaries here ; but as I have made it a rule to 
write a sort of journal to you (the only one indeed I keep), and 
as I know you like to hear about all my movements and travels, 
it would be better for me perhaps to go back to where I left 
off in my last hurried letter written from Tientsin on Monday, 
aoth April. 

I believe I told you that God manifestly blessed the work 
amongst the little English community there (at Tientsin), and 
this indeed was to be expected when one observed the spirit 
of prayer and expectation that prevailed among the Christians. 
Did I tell you that one gentleman who was connected with an 
opium business was led to send in his resignation, feeling his 
occupation not to be free from sin, and to come out very 
decidedly on the side of our Blessed Master ? and that the 
work also extended to the Chinese Medical Students there who 
speak English ? 

We did not get away from Tientsin much before noon on 
Tuesday, aist. 


Two of the little carts which are so commonly used about 
here, drawn by two mules each, tandem fashion, took our 
luggage and bedding and left room for one of us on each cart, 
on a sort of seat there is on the shaft, one side of which is 
occupied by the driver. The vehicles remind me much of the 
Portuguese ox-carts, but are much better finished and have a 
cover (under which, if there is no luggage, two people can just 
sit crossed-legged or on a pillow). 

Having passed through the Chinese city of Tientsin we 
struck out into the country, two of us walking and two of us 
riding. Sometimes the road was simply a track across ploughed 
fields, but even when there was a distinct or so-called road the 
jolting was well let us say most amusing. We got accus- 
tomed to it by and by, but at first it was certainly a remarkable 
experience. Before dark we reached a town some twenty miles 
from Tientsin, and put up in the inn for the night. The inns 
in this part of China are said to be much better than in the 
south, and for ourselves we were exceedingly comfortable. 

You enter by a gate into a good sized courtyard, all round 
which are rooms or sheds. The mules, donkeys and carts, etc., 
are deposited in the yard or under the sheds, and the travellers 
take possession of the rooms. At the furthest end are the 
chief rooms the most private which are reserved for the 
better class travellers. These were our quarters, two rooms 
leading into one another with a brick sort of arrangement, of 
which you have heard, for beds, giving plenty of room for two 
or three to sleep in each, a table and two chairs. 

Having called for water and washed in our own wooden 
bowls, we got off some of the dust and then sat down to feast 
on the provisions our kind friends at Tientsin had put up 
for us in such large quantities. 

If I were to tell you what we had for our meal you would 
say that we had exchanged plenty at home for prodigality out 
here : and that instead of coming to hardships we had come 
to luxuries. It is true that we had had no meal since an early 
breakfast, and that we had been in the open air all day, but 
even for four hungry men in this condition eight snipe, two 
chickens, several loaves of bread, some cake, and a pot of 
marmalade, washed down by plenty of tea, Chinese fashion, 
was a most sumptuous meal ; was it not ? Having finished 
our food, eaten by the way not with chop-sticks but with knives 
and forks which fond mothers or other thoughtful friends had 
made some of us bring with us, we gave thanks to our Heavenly 
Father for all His continued goodness to us, meditated for a 
while on His Word, commended ourselves afresh to Him, and 


lay down on our comfortable bedding and were very soon, I 
can tell you, fast asleep. 

The next morning (Wednesday, April n) one of the drivers 
called us at 2 A.M. Having dressed and put together our 
bedding we got some hot water and made some cocoa from a 
packet which a dear mother had put into a son's bag, and also 
finished up some chocolate which was found by its side. Then 
having united in prayer we were ready to start about 3 A.M. 
The reason for such an early start was that we wanted, if 
possible, to get to Tungchow, some forty miles distant, where 
the American Board have a Mission Station. It was a fine 
starry night, and though at first we were rather sleepy, when 
after an hour or two the soft morning light began to steal 
across the sky and showed up the fields around us, we were 
refreshed and went forward with new vigour. 

The country all along the route was monotonous and un- 
interesting, and there was not much danger of our getting so 
engrossed with nature as to forget nature's God. There were 
no hedges, but very occasionally a mud wall or a rushwork 
barrier formed a partition. 

In the villages the houses were made of mud bricks. Several 
of these characteristics reminded me much of the dry table- 
land of Spain over which I travelled once with Herbert. Do 
not, however, be led to judge of other parts of China by what 
I have said of this. 

At about 1 1 A.M. we stopped at an inn and, whilst the mules 
and carters were feeding, took our own breakfast, again using 
provisions which we had brought with us. It is quite possible 
to get very excellent food at these inns, but our friends at 
Tientsin had filled us up so bountifully that we reconciled 
ourselves to our fate and continued to feed in the fashion and 
on the food of the barbarians of the Western lands, instead of 
satisfying our longing to turn Chinamen at once. I cannot 
say, however, that we did not do full justice to an excellent 
piece of beef and some good bread we had with us. 

After an hour's delay or more we started again and before 
long, Stanley Smith and Hoste, who had done most of the 
walking in the morning, having become footsore, we hired two 
donkeys in a village for which we paid less than one penny a 
mile each, and all set forward mounted, but still only at a 
walking pace. 

That evening we again put up at a Chinese inn, and on 
the Thursday morning after three hours travelling got to 
the Mission houses, where we were most kindly received by 
Mr. and Mrs. Sheffield, Mr. and Mrs. Beach, and the other 


missionaries. A very interesting day was spent with them ; in 
the afternoon a meeting of the Chinese Christians was arranged 
and we spoke by interpretation, and in the evening had a Bible 

We were especially interested in going over the School and 
Theological College. In the latter there is a class of eight 
young Chinamen, the sons of Chinese Christians, who are very 
shortly going to be sent out as Evangelists or Pastors. One 
of them can say the whole New Testament through. The 
Chinese cultivate reciting very much, and so it is very easy for 
them to repeat long passages. 

The next morning (Friday) we set out again with carts and 
donkeys to do the fifteen or twenty miles which separated us 
from Peking. 

I have written all this because I thought you would like to 
know something about our travelling, etc., but I want now to 
hasten on to tell you something about our work here. 

The only people besides the missionaries and their families 
are those employed at the Legation or those at the Chinese 
Customs, which are conducted under English management, so 
that the numbers attending our evening Evangelistic services, 
which have been carried on every night, have only averaged 
some forty or fifty, but even here good work has been done. 
But the remarkable work has been amongst the missionaries 
themselves, and has been chiefly carried on at the afternoon 
gatherings which have been held at the various Mission houses 
in the different parts of the city. I can write about it more 
fully since I have not had anything to do with the movement. 
The work is most manifestly God's, but the instrument has 
been Stanley Smith. 

I mentioned that, when we were on board the steamer 
coming up to Tientsin, we were all much stirred up to spend 
our time in prayer for the deepening of our spiritual life and 
the outflowing of God's Holy Spirit upon us. We felt that 
the work at Shanghai had in a measure failed owing to our 
want of spirituality, holiness, and power. We felt the import- 
ance of waiting upon our Heavenly Father to be prepared for 
our future work in China, and the more we prayed the more 
we felt our need of prayer. Hidden and unsuspected depths 
of iniquity were disclosed to us, we were horrified to find how 
much selfishness, pride, untruthfulness, want of love, etc., 
there was in us, and we were constrained to humble ourselves 
very low before our God on account of it, and to plead for 
inward purity as well as for power. We also (led very largely 
by our dear brother Stanley) were brought to see how much 


larger and wider the Old and New Testament promises were 
than we had supposed, and that our Blessed Lord must have 
been grieved that we had not pleaded His promises and striven 
to attain to what was for us. We saw, too, how much of all 
this was contained in what is called " the promise of the Father ", 
the great gift of the Holy Spirit, not in the measure in which 
He is given to all Christians, but in that fulness which was 
promised by our Lord and in which He was received (often 
after a period of waiting) by the early Church. 

So important did this waiting upon God appear to Stanley 
Smith, that for two of the days we were at Tientsin he felt it 
right to shut himself up and devote himself to prayer entirely, 
so that I was left, as I hinted in one of my letters, to carry on 
our work alone, and was much helped by God in doing so. 

When we came on here our great need of a fuller revelation 
of God to our souls, and of enduement with power for our life 
work, was still much upon our minds, and we continued and 
have been continuing much in prayer about it, spending almost 
all our spare time before God. 

Some afternoon meetings for the deepening of spiritual life 
having been suggested and arranged for, Stanley Smith took 
up this line of truth, and each day has been speaking to those 
who have assembled (missionaries and their wives) on some 
subject connected with the promise of the Holy Spirit in 
Pentecostal power to produce purity of heart and fitness for 
successful service. He has dwelt on the signal want of success 
which all missionaries feel and confess, on the tremendous 
difficulties which have to be encountered, and on the other 
hand he has shown with great power and clearness how mag- 
nificent are the promises of God, and the results predicted for 
those who avail themselves of them. 

After the first two or three meetings it was decided that 
our stay should be extended another week, and each afternoon 
the missionaries have been meeting in large numbers from 3 to 
5 P.M. for prayer and to hear further on this subject. 

As a present and evident result one missionary (a lady) has 
been led to see after a long period of struggle, and to confess 
openly in the meetings, that she had never yielded herself to 
God, or really been converted and received a change of heart ; 
one or two others have testified to renewed awakenings after 
considerable backsliding of heart (or second conversions, as it 
has been termed) ; and others have stood up to witness to 
renewed consecration, to fresh views of the Lord Jesus Christ, 
to unaccustomed peace, to unexampled zeal and devotion to 
their work. 


And we have all been stirred up to count not ourselves to 
have apprehended, but diligently to press toward the mark, to 
seek that we may know Him and the power of His resurrection, 
and above all to cry mightily to God that we may in a real 
sense which we have never experienced before " Be filled with 
the Spirit ", and as a result that rivers of living water may, 
according to the promise, go flowing out from us, and that we 
may enjoy the power we need to extend God's Kingdom in the 
way He desires. 

There is no doubt that there is a very unusual awakening 
amongst the missionaries ; and I can say this all the more 
decidedly as I have only followed in the wake of the movement, 
and have moved along no faster than my conservative and 
cautious nature has allowed me to do. 

I would like to write much more fully on this subject but 
time does not permit at present, though I may have a further 
opportunity. I feel the importance just now especially of 
giving as much time as possible to prayer and communion 
with our Heavenly Father. 

God bless and keep all you dear ones. 


The preceding letter may be thought by some to 
show the excessive zeal of a young enthusiast. It is 
well, therefore, that we can refer to the sober judgment 
of a veteran worker. Of this visit to China's capital 
the Rev. Joseph Edkin, D.D., one of the senior and 
most respected of missionaries, wrote under date of 
May 3, 1885 : 

The new religious life of England has come to us as a 
salutary purifying breeze. We have felt ourselves uplifted and 
revived. Some have undertaken a determined work of heart- 
searching and prayer for spiritual elevation. Some have felt 
converted after a previous life of cold religion. Some have 
accepted Christ as a personal Saviour after long hesitation 
extending through years of attendance on Christian worship. 
. . . The crust of conventional precedent and reluctance has 
been broken through at our meetings, and the tongues of those 
who have been blessed have been set free to speak of God's 
goodness. Such meetings I have never known in China. I 
take it as a sign that the revival wave is beating on the Chinese 

The young and the middle-aged have alike felt deep im- 


pressions. Last night we had a Baptismal and Communion 
service. A father and his eldest daughter received Baptism 
and partook of the Lord's Supper. The Rev. James Gilmour 
(the famous missionary to Mongolia) administered Baptism, 
and the Rev. W. W. Cassels Communion. ... In the after- 
noon drawing-room meeting a father gave thanks for his three 
boys (the eldest fifteen) for their acceptance of Christ during 
the meetings, and in the evening these all took the Communion. 
. . . We quite expect that this new impulse of spiritual life 
will be communicated to the Chinese of the native congrega- 

All the societies in Peking, with one exception, 
united in these times of refreshing, and the spiritual 
impetus received led a company of Peking missionaries 
twenty-five in number to issue to the whole 
missionary body in China an appeal for special and 
united prayer. In this appeal they stated that one 
result of the visit of these brethren was the starting 
of a daily noon- day prayer meeting in all their local 
centres, and they suggested that all missionaries in 
China should in like manner unite in waiting upon 
God. " If we would all unite," they wrote, " have 
we not faith to believe that God would shake China 
with His power ? " 

Seldom indeed has any company of young recruits 
to the mission-field been so warmly welcomed by their 
seniors, and seldom have any new workers entered 
upon their labours with such manifestations of Divine 
blessing. But the stern and hard realities of the 
foreign field were not far removed. 


Yet not in solitude if Christ anear me 
Waketh Him workers for the great employ. 

Oh not in solitude, if souls that hear me 
Catch from my joyance the surprise of joy. 

F. W. H. MYERS. 

FROM Peking the plunge into the interior began. Now 
the austere and naked truths of life in Inland China 
confronted him after the elation and enthusiasms of 
past months. Such a change is a searching test for 
any man, nor could it be otherwise for Cassels. His 
late Vicar, Canon Edwards, who had had abundant 
opportunity of knowing, had written of him : " He is 
decidedly not patient ", and again, " Evangelistic work 
is his forte, he is fond of it, but he needs strong counsel 
against impatience ". To such a temperament life 
in Inland China could not fail to be a severe ordeal, 
for if any grace is needed there more than another 
it is patience, patience, patience, from morning till 

The first eighteen months in China were spent in 
the northern province of Shansi, for at that time the 
Mission had no Language School. Here he was to 
experience the painful helplessness of life among a 
strange people whose language he could not speak. 
The pent up feelings consequent upon this inability 
to utter his thoughts, the isolation and loss of accus- 
tomed friendships, and the lack of outlet for his eager 

energies, inevitably occasioned a reaction not easily 



endured by an ardent temperament. How Cassels 
conquered and endured we shall see. 

The long and somewhat tedious journey from 
Peking to Taiyuanfu, the capital of Shansi, was for 
the most part performed by Chinese cart under the 
guidance of Mr. Bagnall, then of the American Bible 
Society. The party consisted of Cassels, Hoste, and 
Stanley Smith, with their escort. Except for the 
journey from Tientsin to Peking, already reported, 
this was his first experience of Chinese travel, of the 
rough and tumble of mountain roads, and of the 
indescribable Chinese inns with their provocations 
to entomological research. Here he would witness the 
sufferings of the mules as they strained and struggled 
up the steep ascents here called " The Gates of 
Heaven ! " through mountain passes into the pro- 
vince, the name of which translated means " West of 
the Mountains " (Shan-si). This was an experience 
altogether different to what he would become familiar 
with in Western China in later years, where cart roads 
are little known. 

Of the carts and the inns he wrote : " The shaking 
up in the former did us a lot of good physically, and 
made the shaking down into the latter all the more 
welcome when night came on ", though on one occasion 
he remarked they " got a not very sweet-smelling 
room ". Yet he writes : " We are finding the ' exceed- 
ing abundantly ' follows us here, and we really do 
enjoy these times ". It was evident that he and his 
companions knew what Thomas a Kempis meant 
when he wrote, " Love maketh every burden light 
and every rough place smooth. It carries burdens 
without being burdened, and makes all that is bitter 
sweet and savoury ". 

But a week or two of Chinese inns makes a Mission 


Station appear a veritable palace of delights, so he 
would enjoy to the full the warm welcome which 
awaited them in the kind and hospitable home of 
Dr. and Mrs. Edwards at Taiyuanfu. Here for a 
brief spell they settled to the study of the language, 
while they waited for their colleague, Beauchamp, 
who was to follow under the escort of Mr. Bailer. 

We arrived here [wrote Cassels from Taiyuanfu] on 
May 23rd, escorted by Mr. Bagnall of the American Bible 
Society, to whom we feel much indebted for his kindness. 
Almost at once we began work with Dr. Edwards' teacher. 
We have had some evening meetings together, and have felt 
refreshed and strengthened by the opportunity of intercourse 
with our Blessed Lord and His people. . . . What a beautiful 
place this Taiyuanfu is. Dr. and Mrs. Edwards are so kind. 
The Lord reward them tenfold. We are keeping well, resting 
and rejoicing in Him. May He constantly lead us and teach 
us and constrain us to faith. 

After a stay of three weeks the journey was resumed, 
Messrs. Cassels and Stanley Smith, in company with 
Mr. Key, leaving for Pingyangfu on Monday, June 15, 
a small detour being made to visit the work of the 
American Board (A.B.C.F.M.) at Taiku. Of this 
journey Cassels wrote from Hochow : 

On Tuesday we were at Taiku, where the American Board 
have a Mission Station, the work being carried on by men 
from Oberlin College. Here we had some encouraging little 
meetings at which we spoke of the secret of a life of victory 
being a life of faith in the risen and ascended and indwelling 
Lord. ... We left Taiku on Thursday morning early, and 
have since been journeying. . . . The weather has been most 
favourable. . . . We have passed through a most interesting 
country. The early part of the journey the road lay amongst 
lovely cornfields, the wheat is turning yellow, but the maize 
is still young and green. Every here and there we came to 
beds or small fields of the opium plant. It is a beautiful flower, 
which adds to the beauty of the landscape ; but alas ! the 
moral aspect of this plant is anything but lovely. They are 
cultivating it more and more, I believe, but even here they 
speak of it as the foreign smoke. 


A long description then follows of the road, of the 
mountains to east and west, of the glory of the sunrise, 
of the river skirting the road, and of the birds which 
abounded. He also gives a graphic account of the 
gallant efforts of the brave mules to surmount the 
Lingshih Pass, and of the wide views thence obtained. 
" We hope," he concludes, " to reach Pingyangfu 
by Tuesday morning, and then, as soon as we can get 
teachers, to settle down to Chinese. Mr. Bailer, with 
Beauchamp and Hoste, are following us, and expect 
to arrive before the end of the week." 

The ancient city of Pingyangfu, where the Emperor 
Yao resided more than 2000 years before Christ, was 
reached on June 23, 1885, and there the party settled 
down to the serious study of the language. Of those 
days Cassels wrote to one of his sisters : 

We have reached a place where not many foreigners, besides 
some eight or ten China Inland Mission missionaries, have 
ever been. . . . The absence of other foreigners is not, how- 
ever, likely to make us desolate, even if we were inclined to 
be desolate, for now that our friends, Beauchamp and Hoste, 
have arrived with Mr. Bailer, we are a party of six. Nor are 
we cast into uncomfortable quarters. There are two adjoining 
houses here belonging to the China Inland Mission, in which 
there is plenty of room for us and our servants, as well as for 
the Chinese Christian and his family who live on the premises. 
Neither are we altogether out of reach of English influence of 
various kinds. 

But we find more and more how easy it is to be independent 
of foreign things. After our first dinner here Stanley Smith 
said, " Well, I think this is the best meal we have had since 
we have been in China ", and as I have said so often, as for 
hardships, I have quite begun to despair of ever having any. 
A little acquaintance with flies, mosquitos, and other animals 
of worse description in the inns does one good, and is only 
what travellers for pleasure always expect in inns. . . . 

The four of us Beauchamp, Hoste, Stanley Smith and I 
occupy three sides of one little courtyard, each of us having a 
room to ourselves. On the fourth side of the yard is the room 
which is used as the chapel. In another court Mr. Bailer 
and Mr. Key put up, and our dining-room and kitchen are 
there ; and in still another lives the young Evangelist, as they 


call him. The kangs, or brick bed arrangements, under which 
a fire can be lighted in winter, have been removed from most 
of these apartments, and our bedsteads are there of another 
description. Mine is an unused door, stretched across two or 
three forms, and I assure you it makes a capital bedstead. If 
you know any who want to set up house cheaply, let them try 
this, and see if it is not an excellent substitute easily taken to 
pieces too, and can be put to other purposes in the day. The 
two forms will do to sit on and the door can be put up as a 
screen ! . . . 

But now you will be very much interested to know some- 
thing about the work going on here. The second meeting this 
morning was conducted by a Mr. Hsi [subsequently the well- 
known Pastor Hsi], a man of some position and means; he 
lives in a town a few miles from here. He is a Chinese Doctor 
of Medicine, and supports the Christians in the neighbourhood 
both by his means and by his own influence. He has a literary 
degree, which, however, was taken from him because he became 
a Christian. . . . 

There are several remarkable features about the work, and 
above all this, that it has been very largely left in the hands 
of the Chinese themselves ; very little English money has been 
employed upon it. The work lies largely in the towns and 
villages around, and not in the city itself, and in these places 
the Christians meet in some rooms of their own which they 
have themselves provided with hymn-books, etc., and they are 
led by one of themselves ; they worship God and meditate upon 
His Word. Is not this encouraging ? 

In another letter written nearly a fortnight later 
he adds : 

Mr. Bailer has secured for us one of the Christians of this 
city as a teacher, and we are now hard at work and delighted 
at any progress we are able to make. . . . We are a very happy 
party enjoying our work, enjoying our walks on the city walls 
with the views of the not distant mountains, so wonderfully 
lit up, as they sometimes are, by the setting sun, and enjoying 
so much our little gatherings for prayer and praise and study 
of God's Word. How much we have to praise Him for. We 
have had to confess ever since we left England, " He daily 
loadeth us with benefits ". 


Send us this day among our fellows, 

Held every moment in Thine own strong friendship, 

To be for Thee, triumphantly, 

The heralds of Thy Will, Thy Word, 

Thy generous Love, Thy Hope, Thy Joy, 

Thy Might, Thy Purity, Thy Beauty. 


AFTER nearly three months' residence at Pingyangfu 
Mr. Bailer proposed that Cassels and Beauchamp 
should open up a new centre west of the Fen River, 
some three days' journey away. Though no settled 
missionary work had been attempted there a remarkable 
work of grace prevailed, to which brief reference must 
be made. 

Some seven or eight years before the time of which 
we write a copy of St. Mark's Gospel had fallen into 
the hands of a Buddhist Bishop in the city of Taning, 
which, being translated, means " The City of Great 
Peace ". He and his friend, a scholar and local school- 
master, became deeply interested in this little volume, 
and by its means gradually groped their way into the 
light. There being no missionary to instruct them 
they were shut up to the Book itself, to which, recog- 
nising it as a sacred volume, they began to burn incense. 
From this beginning they proceeded to worship Jesus 
and His twelve apostles, until later, after long search 
for help, they found a missionary who instructed them 
more perfectly in the things of God. 1 

1 For the full story, see the Author's In Quest of God, 

65 F 


These two men, Chang and Ch'ii, gradually gathered 
around them a goodly company of earnest enquirers, 
hoping for the day when some missionary might settle 
in their midst. 

It was at this juncture that Mr. Bailer, through the 
good offices of a friendly official, was enabled to secure 
premises in Sichow a neighbouring city of higher 
rank than Taning. Consequently, at the close of the 
summer, Messrs. Bailer, Cassels, and Beauchamp, on 
September 16, 1885, set forth to open this new centre. 
The road lay across the Fen River and over a bold 
and rocky mountain range, which afforded a refreshing 
contrast to the sultry plain. 

" After a most delightful journey ", wrote Beau- 
champ, " that is, delightful if I abstain from mentioning 
any of the resting places by the way ", Sichow was 
reached on the Saturday three or four days later. The 
house secured contained six rooms, with a kitchen, 
servants' quarters, and a well, all at the modest rental 
of 4 per annum. Despite the dilapidated state of the 
premises streams of visitors, full of curiosity, began 
at once to pour in, which, however, delighted the 
young workers so long as Mr. Bailer remained. But 
when, on the following Tuesday, he bade them farewell 
they were speedily plunged like inexperienced swimmers 
into deep waters. 

Here were these two young pioneers, with less than 
three months' study of the language to their credit, 
left on their own some four days distant from their 
nearest missionary neighbours. Both felt almost hope- 
lessly at sea. Of the two Cassels seemed the better at 
understanding what was said, while Beauchamp was 
the better at making himself understood. Thus for 
the next three months they clung together as mutual 
ears and mouth. 


It was not unnatural that in this lonely post Cassels 
should feel some reaction after the joy and elation of 
past months. Under ordinary circumstances an out- 
going missionary is something of a hero to his Church 
and friends, but in the case of " The Cambridge 
Seven " hero-worship had been a marked feature. 
The trough of the wave naturally follows the crest. 
What Cassels experienced at this time is best recorded 
in his own words. Writing two days after Christmas, 
1885, he says : 

Notwithstanding perhaps I ought rather to say in con- 
sequence of the encouragement, the evil one has not been 
leaving us alone. I have known what it is to be in heaviness 
through manifold temptations, and have once, at any rate, felt 
indeed that " my soul was among lions ", so terrible was the 
attack of the devil. 

A little later he writes again, this time more fully, 
along the same line : 

The daily study of Chinese is still our chief work. Then 
under the surface, visible, perhaps, to no eye but His, are 
those temptations which in this land especially the devil seems 
to be permitted to hurl at one. I think that from beginning 
to end the words of the hymn which say : 

How oft in the conflict, when pressed by the foe, 
I have fled to my Refuge and breathed out my woe ! 
How often when trials like sea billows roll, 
Have I hidden in Thee, O Thou Rock of my soul 

very correctly express my experience. If He leads us through 
fire and water it is to bring us out into a wealthy place, we 
are sure of that. 

These words may suggest to you that we missionaries are 
in need of your prayers ; and such indeed is the case. ... It 
is easy to imagine that those who have taken the step of leaving 
home to become missionaries have got on a platform where 
they are safe from the ordinary trials and temptations of other 
people. But there is no mistake greater. . . . The Church is 
waking up to her duty to send men forth. Does it also realise 
its equally important duty of sustaining them by constant, 


earnest and believing prayer ? . . . I will give you some of 
my late experiences in the Words of the Book. 

But as for me my feet were almost gone, my steps had well-nigh 

Unless the Lord had been my Help my soul had almost dwelt in 

When I said, " My foot slippeth ", Thy mercy, O Lord, held me 

The evil one has been round about us as a roaring lion 
trying, oh so hard, to draw us from Thy hand, but through 
Thee we shall do valiantly, through Thee we shall tread down 
no, better still, it is Thou that shalt tread down our enemies. 

And he was not to be left without the " clear shining 
after rain ". We find him some days later on Sunday, 
January 10, adding : 

I wrote the foregoing at a time when, as you would gather, 
I had been going through fire and water, and though His 
presence was still very real (Praise be to His Holy Name !), 
the temptations of the devil were very fierce, but now He has 
indeed once again brought me out into a wealthy place. I do 
not think I ever had such visions of His love and His glory. 
I do not know exactly in what words to express my experience, 
but I have been finding it impossible to keep from shouts of 
adoration and praise even with the sobering influence of a 
more sedate companion in the house. Words utterly fail me 
to-night ; but, oh, it has been royal company all day, Divine 
company. I have just been gazing upon the Master, talking 
with Him. 

If I ask for your prayers shall I not also ask for your praises ? 

Among the many persons with whom Cassels and 
Beauchamp were brought into touch at this time were 
the two remarkable men, Chang, the former Buddhist 
Bishop, and Cri'ii the scholar. Through them they 
learned of the progress of God's work in and around 
Taning, which city they naturally longed to visit. 

The more we see of Ch'ii [wrote Cassels], the more we 
praise God for him. He is a man with a great deal more 
animation than most Chinese that we have had anything to do 


with. Rather reserved, perhaps, at first, but when he begins 
to speak about the spread of the Gospel his face lights up, and 
he talks away so fast and so enthusiastically, that it is quite 
impossible for us to follow him. 

Ch'u's bright and cheery manner, however, was not 
the result of easy circumstances, for he had endured 
no little persecution both from his wife and from the 
officials. It was the fruit of true joy in God. 

A little later Cassels told his friend, Chang, that he 
should like to commence work in Taning, if that were 
possible. Happily, with the Sichow official still friendly, 
this was easily arranged, and some premises, rough and 
much dilapidated, were secured. Cassels, therefore, 
bade farewell to Beauchamp, and travelled one day's 
journey south to this little city which nestles among the 
hills, more like a walled village than a county town. 1 

Taning, or the " City of Great Peace ", was reached 
on February 10, 1886, during the first week of the 
Chinese New Year, and what these first Mission 
premises were like and what was the missionary's 
manner of life there may best be told in Cassels' own 
words written nearly a month later. It will be re- 
membered that the work of which he speaks had grown 
up as the result of God's blessing on the labours of 
the two men, the Buddhist priest and the Chinese 

I arrived here on February loth, and have now met with 
all the Christians and have visited most of them in their own 
homes. They comprise some twenty- two families, and live in 
the most out-of-the-way villages, chiefly among the hills, at a 
distance of three to ten miles west of the city. With two or 
three exceptions, it was the first time they had met with a 

1 How friendly and homely the people in Taning could be may be 
illustrated by the fact that they lent the keys of the city gates to the writer 
and a friend on one occasion. None the less, during the Boxer crisis 
some showed their fiendish cruelty against the three lady workers resident 
in the city, as well as against the Chinese Christians. 


missionary, and I have been most warmly welcomed by them 
all. As far as I have been able to judge, they are warm- 
hearted and consistent Christians, from the young convert of 
sixty years old to the lad of twelve who is comparatively an 
old Christian, having known the Lord nearly two years. 

On first coming into the city, I put up in the only habitable 
room of a broken down house, which was the only place I 
could get. On the brick bed of this room, for it was nearly 
all kang, I lived with my teacher and servant, and any Christians 
who came in from the villages to see me. Here we slept, 
read and prayed, and the food was cooked and eaten. But 
the Lord, ever watchful of the interests of His children, no 
doubt thought I ought to have a better place than a couple of 
square feet in a cave-room ; so after a fortnight the Yamen 
people, who like neither foreigner nor Christian having kept 
out the former as represented by Mr. David Hill, who wanted 
to distribute relief here in the famine time, and having per- 
secuted the latter to the best of their powers now influenced 
my landlord and got me turned out, with the result that I am 
now in a better house, and as it is owned by the father of some 
of the Christians, I am expecting to be left undisturbed. 
Thanks be to God. 

The work in the city itself is very encouraging. ... As to 
myself, God has sustained me wonderfully under many in- 
conveniences. I have had a continual stream of visitors since 
I have been here. They burst their way in before I am up in 
the morning, and do not leave me till last thing at night. I am 
now getting a few letters written while surrounded with sight- 
seers, who are never tired of examining my Bible and my pen 
and pencil, which are almost the only foreign things I have 
with me. 

After a residence of about two months Cassels, 
joined by Beauchamp, paid a short visit to Pingyangfu, 
which was at that time the mother-church of the 
district, their object being to be present at a Church 
Conference when some seventy-two persons were 
baptised, which practically doubled the membership 
of that church. But their visit was cut short by the 
unwelcome news of persecution at Taning and Sichow. 
The friendly official had been replaced by another of 
a different spirit, and serious charges were being 
levelled both against the Chinese Christians and the 


foreigners, it being asserted, for instance, that Cassels 
had destroyed one of the idols in the Buddhist temple 
which overlooks the city of Taning. Cassels and 
Beauchamp therefore set out at once upon the return 
journey, each going to his own centre. When Cassels 
reached the city it was to find his house barred and 
sealed against him, and though it was dark he had no 
alternative but to pursue his way as best he could to 
the home of his friend, Chang, in the village of Mul- 
berry Crag, some twelve miles distant. The night was 
stormy, and the paths among the hills difficult and 
dangerous, and his donkey which carried his belongings 
was by no means easily persuaded to ford the river 
which had to be crossed. It was a trying experience, 
but his destination was at length safely reached, and 
the premises in the city eventually entered by taking the 
doors off their hinges. 

Writing again from Taning on May 18, he said : 

I have been here for three or four months in such company 
His glorious companionship. Mr. Beauchamp has paid me 
several visits from Sichow. I have had such encouragement 
here, and this notwithstanding severe persecution. But, oh ! 
with the vast masses so enveloped in darkness and sin, we 
cannot be satisfied with a little encouragement. We want 
China for God, and in this generation, do we not ? May the 
Lord baptise every Chinese Christian for this purpose. 

The people here are very friendly. Let me give you an 
instance. Expecting only to be here for a short time, and for 
other reasons, I scarcely bought anything in the way of furni- 
ture or cooking utensils, and nearly all the things necessary 
have been lent me by people in the city, not Christians, for 
when I came there were none. 1 

Already Cassels' stay in Shansi had been longer than 
had originally been intended. His designation from 
the first had been the west of China, but as already 
recorded, since large parties could not wisely travel 

1 I.e., none in the city, all the Christians were in the villages. 


together the Polhills had proceeded to Hanchung via 
Hankow, while Cassels and Beauchamp were to travel 
west via the north. Mr. Hudson Taylor had pur- 
posed long ere this to have joined the Shansi party to 
escort them west himself, but he had been unexpectedly 
detained. At length, however, as summer drew near 
news arrived that he was on his way. Cassels and 
others therefore travelled north to stay once more, and 
to meet Mr. Taylor in the hospitable home of Dr. and 
Mrs. Edwards at Taiyuanfu. 

Of the days of blessing which followed in fellowship 
with Mr. Taylor at Taiyuanfu, and subsequently in the 
south, we cannot write at length. 1 It must suffice to 
say that Cassels, with four other members of the 
Cambridge Band, beside other friends, spent ten 
hallowed days in Taiyuanfu in conference and fellow- 
ship with Mr. Hudson Taylor, days long to be re- 
membered, for the chief topic on which Mr. Taylor 
spoke daily was " the all-sufficiency of Christ for 
personal life and for all the exigencies of service ". 

From Taiyuanfu the members of the conference 
proceeded south, the majority by the great North 
Road, but Cassels and Hoste took the small route 
west of the Fen River in order that they might bring 
from thence a goodly company of the Christians to 
meet Mr. Taylor at Hungtung and Pingyangfu, the 
former city being the centre of the great work conducted 
by Mr. Hsi. 

Conferences were held at both these centres, the 
larger of the two being at Hungtung on August i and 2, 
when some three hundred Christians gathered together. 
It was on this occasion that Mr. Hsi and Mr. Song 

1 For the full story, see Days of Blessing in Inland China, compiled by 
Montagu Beauchamp, and for an abbreviated record see Hudson Taylor and 
the China Inland Mission, pages 400-412. 


were set apart by Mr. Hudson Taylor as Pastors, while 
two elders and sixteen deacons were also appointed, 
and some seventy persons baptised. Unhappily heavy 
rains, which made the Fen River impassable, prevented 
Cassels and Hoste with the Christians from the west 
from being present at Hungtung, so a smaller confer- 
ence was arranged at Pingyangfu immediately after. 
Here it was that Ch'u, the fervent scholar and evangelist, 
was set apart as Pastor, while five others were appointed 
as deacons. 

With these conferences concluded, Mr. Hudson 
Taylor at once set his face westward for the long over- 
land journey to Hanchung, he being accompanied by 
Beauchamp. Much to his disappointment Cassels, 
who fain would have joined the party, was asked to 
remain behind for another two or three months. 

But the disappointment had its reward, for he formed 
during these months a close and even affectionate 
attachment to Mr. J. W. Stevenson who was then in 
the province, and had recently been appointed Mr. 
Hudson Taylor's deputy in China. As Mr. Stevenson 
was also Superintendent of the work in West China, 
Cassels learned to know the man with whom he would, 
for years to come, be in constant correspondence. His 
letters to Mr. Stevenson, averaging two a month, have 
happily been preserved, and bear witness to a love and 
loyalty of priceless value to any organisation. 

Cassels was glad, therefore, to open his heart to his 
fatherly friend he once wrote to him " as to a father " 
and discuss with him a number of questions. One 
of these was " Marriage on the Mission field ", upon 
which he had already strong convictions. It certainly 
became a serious problem to him, for as the first clergy- 
man in Holy Orders to join the China Inland Mission 
he was frequently called upon to marry missionary 


couples up country. It was for this reason he had been 
requested to delay his departure from Shansi. Before 
he was a year older he wrote : " Travelling on this 
marriage business is assuming serious proportions ", 
and this travelling business soon earned for him the 
nickname of " The Travelling Joiner " ! 

As for himself he was resolved to remain single, and 
told Mr. Stevenson so with some emphasis. Did not 
the Apostle Paul say : " He that is unmarried is careful 
for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord : 
but he that is married is careful for the things of the 
world, how he may please his wife " ? Zealous for the 
work not only was he determined to abide single, but 
he keenly advocated the single life for his dearest 
friends. And all the while there was deep down a 
suppressed attachment in his own heart. Was it this 
that accounted for his vehemence and made him 
" protest too much " ? How he succumbed we shall 

But there were other subjects which had exercised 
his mind which he did not feel free to discuss with his 
colleagues, though he did with Mr. Stevenson. At 
Taning he had been brought into closest touch with 
an indigenous work of grace, and he had also seen and 
learned something of the remarkable work of Pastor 
Hsi. But as a good Churchman he was exercised by 
the absence of much to which he was accustomed. 
Neither infant baptism nor confirmation were practised 
in Shansi, and the ordination of Pastors Hsi and Ch'ii 
was certainly not episcopal. He was heartily in sym- 
pathy with the interdenominational character of the 
Mission he had joined, but he was thinking his way 
through to a clearer view of the difference between 
undenominationalism and interdenominationalism. It 
was a comfort, therefore, to be able freely to discuss 


these subjects with one who had a wide and varied 
experience of twenty years in the work. 

Writing to Mr. Stevenson from Pingyangfu on 
October 22, 1886, just a fortnight before he started 
west, he said : 

I talked with you on certain matters, e.g. Baptism, Ordina- 
tion, etc., more freely than I have done with anyone since I 
have been in China. Because I spoke my mind freely I do 
trust I did not leave the impression that I was bigoted or 
uncharitable. Believe me when I say that it is not so. I 
never mention this matter and never try to disturb those who 
think differently from what I do. It seems to me a proselytising 
spirit in the China Inland Mission would undermine one of the 
foundations on which it stands. And it was largely because 
I understood how lovingly Christians of different denomina- 
tions were working together that I asked to be allowed to join 
the Mission. 

Early in November, accompanied only by a Chinese 
servant, he bade farewell to Shansi, and set out for that 
sphere which was to be set apart for Church of England 
members of the Mission where he was to spend the 
rest of his life. From the same letter quoted above we 
learn the spirit in which he faced this untried service. 

And now [he writes], my " two or three months " are 
nearly up and I am intending to get off after the Hungtung 
gatherings. How short the time has been ! How I should 
like as many months as there are days left. But my Father 
knoweth what things I have need of. That is a blessed thought, 
is it not ? 

There is also another word that I was feasting on yesterday 
in Luke xi. in what one may call The Parable of Intercessory 
Prayer. The Lord teaches us there (verse 5) firstly to draw 
near with the utmost confidence saying " Friena ", and secondly 
to lay before Him not merely our needs but the needs of those 
who are dear to us, whom we love, that is those who are without 
hope and are looking to us for the Bread of Life (verse 6), " A 
friend of mine ". Now certain friends of mine in Szechwan that 
is those to whom my heart is going out in love have through 
the ordering of God come out of their way to me (verse 6 
margin) like the Man of Macedonia came out of his way to 


Paul ; and in myself I have just " nothing to set before them ". 
But I am asking the Lord that my needs i.e. my sense of 
them may be very great in view of the grand promise : " He 
will rise and give him as many as he needeth ". Our con- 
fidence is that if we persevere in our petitions and our im- 
portunity He will give us " as many as we need ". It was 
Andrew Murray's book on Prayer that gave me this word. 

It was in this spirit of dependence and expectancy 
that he set forth for his new and needy field. 



If I am to select an endowment which I have found precious for 
the whole work of life beyond all others, it would be the belief in 
words which I gained through the severest discipline of verbal 
criticism. Belief in words is the foundation of belief in thought. 


You will not forget the sacred words ; TTIO-TOS 6 KoAwv. I think 
there is force in the present participle. ' Faithful He who calls.' 

A word upon which Bishop Westcott 
rested at every fresh call of God. 


Tarye no longer ; toward thyn heritage 
Hast on thy weye, and be of ryght good chere. 
Go eche day onward on thy pylgryraage ; 
Thynke how short tyme thou hast abyden here. 


LEAVING behind the loved field of Ta-ning the " City 
of Great Peace " Cassels set forth for his new sphere, 
Pao-ning, the " City of Assured Peace ". It was a 
happy coincidence that " Ning ", the character for 
" Peace ", should be the dominant note in the names 
of the two cities with which his life was to be identified. 
But whereas he had been welcomed by a little band of 
Christians to the former, he was to find his entry 
resented by the latter. But the opposition experienced 
was only a measure of the need. 

For more than a month Cassels, accompanied only 
by a Chinese boy, pursued his way, the long hours of 
his lonely march affording much leisure for prayer and 
thought. His route lay over the Yellow River, across 
the extensive Sian Plain, and then through rough and 
rocky mountain paths to Hanchung, which was to be 
his pied-a-terre for entry into the populous province 
of Szechwan. 

Nothing can bring home to a traveller the spiritual 
needs of China more than such a journey. All along 
the way Cassels would not find a single Mission station. 
City after city he would enter and leave behind, each 
without a Gospel messenger, countless villages he 



would pass where Christ's name had never been heard, 
and all along the roads the highways of China, for 
railways were unknown he would encounter incessant 
streams of eager travellers for whom nothing spiritual 
was being done. The need, the need, the need, would 
stare him in the face day by day and night by night. 
With added urgency he would continue to plead that 
God would arise and give him all he needed. 

In the whole province of Shensi which he crossed 
there was only one Protestant Mission station and that 
was Hanchung, his temporary destination. Away to 
the north-west there was the vast province of Kansu, 
which with Chinese Turkestan extends into the very 
heart of Asia, with only four stations, and three of these 
just opened. 

Away in the far south-west, in the provinces of 
Yunnan and Kweichow, with their aggregate of twenty 
millions of people, there were only three centres of 
light ; while in Szechwan, with which province we are 
more especially concerned a province of countless 
natural resources and more than sixty millions of 
souls there were only two stations, Chungking in 
the south and Chengtu in the west, and a riot in the 
former had just driven the little band of missionaries 

It was no wonder that Hudson Taylor, whose soul 
was wrung with anguish over China's spiritual destitu- 
tion, should write : 

The claims of an Empire like this should surely be not only 
admitted but realised ! Shall not the eternal interests of one- 
fifth of our race stir up the deepest sympathies of our nature, 
the most strenuous efforts of our blood-bought powers ? Shall 
not the low wail of helpless, hopeless misery, arising from 
one half of the heathen world, pierce our sluggish ear and 
rouse us, spirit, soul and body, to one mighty, continued, 
unconquerable effort for China's salvation ? 


With his practical though fervent mind Hudson 
Taylor had seen in the Cambridge Band some who 
could attempt an opening into the needy west. But 
further in keeping with the principles of the Mission, 
which, as an interdenominational organisation, recog- 
nised and made provision for denominational con- 
victions he saw the necessity for allocating a sphere 
for Church of England workers, since Cassels and 
others of his party were members of that Church. 

As early as 1866, shortly after the arrival in China 
of the " Lammermuir " party, he had written : 

Those already associated with me represent all the leading 
denominations of our native land Episcopal, Presbyterian, 
Congregational, Methodist, Baptist and Paedobaptist. Besides 
these, two are, or have been, connected with the " Brethren " 
so called. It is intended that those whose view of discipline 
correspond shall work together, and thus all difficulty on that 
score will be avoided. Each one is perfectly at liberty to teach 
his own views on these minor points to his own converts ; the 
one great object we have in view being to bring heathen from 
darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God. We all 
hold alike the great fundamentals of our faith, and in the 
presence of heathenism can leave the discussion of discipline 
while together, and act as before God when in separate stations. 

Mr. Taylor's visit to the west had, among other 
things, been to arrange the details of such a division of 
territory, and the great and needy north of Szechwan 
was calling as loudly as any for evangelisation. Not to 
attempt too much at once the densely populated area 
of Eastern Szechwan, lying to the east of the Kialing 
River, was, therefore, henceforth to be recognised as 
the China Inland Mission Church of England sphere. 
In confirmation of this statement we cannot do better 
than quote some words spoken many years later by 
William Cassels, long after he had been consecrated 


If you will excuse a personal reference which I cannot avoid. 
In the providence of God it happened that I should be the 
first clergyman of the Church of England to join the China 
Inland Mission. I went out to preach the Gospel, and perhaps 
I do not know whether it was unwisely or wisely I did not 
look very far ahead into the future. But not long after arriving 
in China, when I had only begun to study the language, at the 
suggestion of Mr. Hudson Taylor, who was most sympathetic 
and cordial in the matter, it was arranged that I should go to 
an untouched part of North Szechwan and try to gather round 
me there members of the Church of England who came out 
in connection with the China Inland Mission. As soon as I 
could I made my way from the north of China, where I then 
was, right down to the west, Szechwan. I was joined there 
first by my friends, Montagu (now Sir Montagu) Beauchamp 
and Arthur Polhill, both of whom have since been ordained. 

We must not at the moment quote more of this 
interesting resume, lest we anticipate our story, but we 
must rather proceed to survey the situation which 
presented itself to Cassels when early in December, 
1886, he reached Hanchung, which is situated a little 
to the north of Szechwan. 

There is, however, one memorable experience to 
which reference must be made before we proceed to 
survey the field, for God does not lay a burden upon 
His servants before He has conferred power to bear it. 
After Cassels had crossed the extensive and monotonous 
Sian Plain he came to the rocky mountain range which 
shuts -in on the north the Hanchung valley. The 
weather had been dull and cloudy, and as he climbed 
these mountain roads he was feeling somewhat desolate 
and depressed. At the summit, after an arduous ascent, 
Ch'i-t'eo-kwan, or the Cock's Head Pass, was reached, 
a point of vantage from which the long stretches of the 
Han valley were visible with the Szechwan hills beyond. 

Pausing after his steep and weary climb, he eagerly 
scanned the wide expanse before him, when suddenly 
the sun burst through the clouds and flooded all the 


landscape with glory. There, fifteen miles away, in 
the midst of its well-watered and populous plain lay 
the city of Hanchung, the only Mission station in all 
that region, and away beyond, on the distant horizon, 
were the hills amongst which his life's work was to be. 
As he stood here wrapped in thought there flashed 
through his mind the words of Isaiah from which he 
had preached at South Lambeth : 

Arise, shine ; for thy Light is come and the glory of the 
Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, darkness shall cover 
the earth and gross darkness the people : but the Lord shall 
arise upon thee and His glory shall be seen upon thee. 

It was one of those moments which time can never 
obliterate. To him those words came as a voice from 
the Living God Himself, and the scene became a 
prophetic vision of what was to be. There ahead was 
his future sphere with its people sitting in darkness and 
in the shadow of death, but that burst of glory was 
God's pledge that the Sun of Righteousness should 
arise with healing in His wings and transform the 
situation. That this was more than a passing fancy, 
but rather an abiding experience, is confirmed by the 
fact that more than thirty-five years later, towards the 
close of his life's work, he, with a face lit up with the 
memory of it, recalled that moment on the mount to 
two young workers, from whom the writer received it. 

With this vision in mind, let us in spirit take our 
stand beside him on that mountainous watch-tower in 
1886 and survey the land which lay before him. 

Szechwan, or " the land of four streams ", so called 
from the four great rivers which water its soil, is by 
far the largest province of China proper, and possesses 
the largest population. Like Eden with its four streams, 
it is a veritable garden of beauty and fruitfulness, if 


physical conditions alone be considered. Its natural 
resources are boundless ; its waterways are magnificent, 
and sometimes, as through the gorges of the Yangtze, 
awe-inspiring ; its plains are almost tropical in their 
fertility ; its artificial irrigation schemes, engineered 
long ages ago, are a marvel of skill and ingenuity ; its 
mountains, especially on the Tibetan border, are 
massive and majestic beyond description ; its oil and 
salt wells, bored for hundreds of feet through solid rock 
with the most primitive of tools, are a revelation of 
almost incredible patience and pertinacity ; its toiling 
masses, many of them by reason of the absence of carts 
and roads veritable beasts of burden, reveal their 
admirable grit and pluck as they bear along its moun- 
tain pathways almost insufferable loads ; while its 
temples, rock carvings, and sacred mountains stand as 
monuments and as a moving testimony to the soul 
hunger and spiritual aspirations of its people. For 
nineteen hundred years the millions of Szechwan had 
toiled, had aspired to better and eternal things, and yet 
had died without having heard of the Saviour's Love. 
But at last an effort was to be made to save those who 
were ready to perish. 

The city upon which the heart of Cassels and his 
fellows was set, as a centre for this new endeavour, was 
the influential Prefectural city of Paoning, and as this 
place became his home for many years, and eventually 
the centre of the new diocese, some description is 

Paoning was the most important city in the whole 
of North Szechwan, not, however, because of its com- 
mercial activity, but by reason of its official status. 
Under the Manchu Dynasty it was the city of the 
Taotai or Intendant of Circuit, whose authority ex- 
tended over the three Prefectures of Paoning, Tung- 


chwan, and Shunking, a well-populated area nearly 
equal in extent to the whole of Scotland. It was also 
the headquarters of the Chentai or Brigade General, 
who had military jurisdiction also over a wide area. 
Here also were located the Yamens of the Futai or 
Prefect governing the nine Hsien cities of the Pre- 
fecture, and the Yamen of the local Hsien or county 
official, with the residences of many other smaller civil 
and military dignitaries. 

Though Hudson Taylor and Cassels little thought 
at that time that their selection of Paoning as a centre 
for reaching the unevangelised regions of North 
Szechwan would lead to its becoming the centre of a 
new diocese, there can be little doubt but that their 
choice was Divinely guided. 

From a religious point of view Paoning was also an 
important centre, the local Confucian and Buddhist 
temples being widely known and much frequented by 
visitors from distant cities. Under the old regime the 
students from all the northern parts of the province 
came up for the examinations, there being at times as 
many as ten thousand students in residence in the city 
or suburbs. Enormous crowds also from all parts of 
North Szechwan were attracted to the annual festival 
of the god of diseases in the fifth month. It should 
further be mentioned that the Mohammedans consti- 
tuted an influential and strong community in the city 
and neighbourhood, where there were two mosques. 

Although a large amount of silk is produced through- 
out the district there are no great industries in the city 
itself. The chief business centre is a street outside the 
city walls, which thoroughfare, especially on market 
days, presents a gay and busy scene. And it was on 
this street, as will be related later, that the first Mission 
premises were secured. Apart from its silk Paoning 


is noted commercially for its vinegar, which has a more 
than provincial fame, and for a special kind of steamed 
bread which is very popular. 

As a city it stands on the banks of the Kialing River, 
which rises in Kansu, passes through the western corner 
of Shensi, and thence flows south through Szechwan 
to join the great Yangtze at Chungking. This river, 
which in winter is a clear placid stream, but during 
summer becomes a broad and mighty flood difficult to 
cross, flows around three sides of the city, which stands 
on a low-lying promontory. In winter the river is 
spanned by a bridge of boats, but in summer can only 
be crossed by the use of large ferry barges. 

The city, almost circled by the river and surrounded 
by hills, is a picturesque sight. And what has given a 
peculiar charm to the neighbourhood, especially to the 
foreigner, are the almost English-like lanes which are 
found in the suburbs. These appear to be almost 
unique in China, for many who have travelled exten- 
sively declare that they have not seen the like elsewhere 
in that country. These narrow lanes, shut in on either 
side by high hedges composed for the most part of 
wild limes, are a delight to the eye, especially when in 
bloom in the spring. All around, the country has a 
quiet beauty of its own, although the hills have been 
largely denuded of trees. 

Thefe is, unhappily, no question that the city has 
been deteriorating steadily during recent years, the 
tragic military disorders since the revolution having dis- 
couraged any attempt to rebuild or repair dilapidations. 


Who would true valour see, 

Let him come hither ; 
One here will constant be, 

Come wind, come weather. 


IF it were possible to tell the full story of the opening 
of the Mission stations in China it would be a tale of 
true valour indeed, for all who have attempted this task 
have had need, in John Bunyan's phrase, to " constant 
be, come wind, come weather". In many cases not 
merely weeks of patient unwearying toil have been 
demanded, but months and years. With Paoning the 
difficulties were not extreme > but still sufficiently trying, 
and we tell its story, not only for its own sake, but as 
one illustration of hardships endured in opening other 
centres of the diocese that was to be. 

Probably the first Protestant missionary to enter the 
city was Mr. G. F. Easton of the China Inland Mission, 
who had been in China some ten years before Cassels 
arrived. As a pioneer he had traversed the country 
from Shanghai to Tibet and back, and itinerated in the 
far North- West for five years. More than eight years 
before Cassels reached Hanchung, as told in the last 
chapter, Mr. Easton had, in the height of the summer 
of 1878, spent a most trying week in Paoning city, 
where all alone he was stricken down with smallpox. 
The place was crowded with students for the examina- 
tions, and he experienced the greatest difficulty in 

8 7 


getting even the poorest accommodation. The inn in 
which he was eventually received was full of boisterous 
military students not the most helpful neighbours for 
a sick man. Housed in a dark damp room with a mud 
floor, he was, in response to his urgent requests, carried 
out daily into the open courtyard to lie in the sun. 
After a week of fever and pain with the prospects of a 
long and serious illness, he engaged coolies to carry him 
the eight long stages back to Chungking, then the only 
Mission station in the province. 

What he endured under such conditions can be 
better imagined than described. " I could do nothing," 
he subsequently wrote, " but pray on the journey, and 
God had mercy on me." But one of his coolies, meanly 
taking advantage of his helplessness, decamped with all 
his baggage. Still undismayed he wrote, " So God 
tries and teaches us, but I can believe that all things 
work together for good, that His hand is in it all, and 
that He is accomplishing His purposes." Thank God 
for such faith and valour ! 

But nothing daunted a few months later he, this 
time accompanied by Mr. George King, again visited 
the city. But nearly eight years elapsed ere it was 
possible to attempt a settlement. 

At length in the spring of 1886 Mr. Albert Phelps, 1 
with Messrs. Cecil and Arthur Polhill, paid a brief visit 
to the 'city, and a little later Mr. Edward Pearse, who 
had been ten years in the field, accompanied by Mr. 
Cecil Polhill and an able Chinese worker, made an 
attempt to rent premises. But the students were so 
anti-foreign, and so determined in their opposition, 
that it seemed wise for the foreigners to retire, trusting 
Mr. Ho to make what arrangements he could. 

Leaving the city the missionaries journeyed to 

1 Now the Rev. Albert Phelps of Norwich. 


Chungking only to find that place had just been rioted, 
and that they must seek shelter in the Yamen, where 
the other refugees were lodged. This unexpected 
development made a speedy return to Paoning im- 
possible, and Mr. Ho, 1 being perplexed at the non- 
appearance of his friends, wrote to Hanchung asking 
that Mr. Phelps might join him in an inn outside the 
East Gate, which he did in September. 

As the situation had become more critical by reason 
of the anti-foreign riot at Chungking great caution 
became necessary, and Mr. Phelps wisely kept himself 
in the background as much as possible. At length a 
likely house was stealthily inspected by night, the deed 
of rental was approved, and the date for possession 
fixed. But before entry was obtained the landlord, 
who had been threatened with dire penalties, came 
begging to be released. Lest he, an innocent man, 
should suffer there was no alternative but to free him 
and begin the search again. 

Months passed in this way, and meanwhile Cassels, 
who had arrived at Hanchung in December, paid his 
first visit to the city, bringing some needed supplies. 
Writing under date of January 18, 1887, he said : 

By Mr. Pearse's advice I went to Paoning, taking Mr. 
Studd's luggage on thus far, also silver and letters for Mr. 
Phelps. I scattered seed at all the places on the way and was 
so glad to meet with the brethren Phelps and Gray Owen at 
Paoning. I spent two days with them in prayer and con- 
sultation. Then I went on to Pachow, where I sold books 
and spent one day. From Pachow I still went east to Tung- 
kiang, where I spent two days and disposed of the rest of my 
books and tracts. 

Having no more books I returned with all speed to Hanchung 

1 Mr. Ho, who was the first convert of the Hanchung Church, was a wise 
and cautious man. Previous to his conversion he had been an ardent 
vegetarian, and had travelled widely, even into Kokonor and Tibet, preaching 
salvation by vegetarianism and similar austerities. But now he was just as 
zealous in the things of God. 


by Hsi-ho-k'eo, being absent thirty-two days. The whole dis- 
trict is hilly and does not appear populous, but yet there are 
vast crowds of people found at all the markets, which are held 

Tungkiang reminded me of Taning (in Shansi) though it is 
a much larger place. Like Pachow and Paoning it has water 
communication with Chungking. Books sold most readily in 
the Tungkiang district, and thus confirmed what was told me, 
that it had been scarcely visited by missionaries. 

It is worthy of note that one of the two brief days 
spent by Cassels at Paoning during this his first visit 
was Christmas Day, 1886, for Christmas Day, as our 
story will show, was on several occasions a red-letter 
day in Cassels' life. Writing on December 25, 1914, 
when Bishop of the Diocese, he said : 

It was at Christmas twenty-eight years ago that I first set 
my foot in Paoning on a short visit of prospection in this region. 
Things were far from easy then. We were suspected, distrusted, 
and opposed ; our motives were misunderstood and misinter- 
preted. No house could be purchased or rented, and the 
prospects were far from promising. And for ourselves, we 
were very inexperienced, our knowledge of the language was 
small, and our knowledge of the people less. 

But this sense of helplessness was Cassels' source 
of strength, for it drove him to prayer. When weak 
he became strong, believing that through Christ he 
could do all things. And so we find him at this initial 
stage laying the foundation of the work to be, by 
instituting that weekly day of intercession which has 
persisted ever since. 

You may have heard [he wrote Mr. Stevenson from 
Hanchung], that a few days after my arrival here I went 
down to Paoning and returned by Pachow and Tungkiang. I 
scattered a good deal of seed in the way of talks and tracts on 
the road, and had the joy of some time of prayer with Phelps 
and Gray Owen. We spent New Year's eve in prayer at a 
little village thirty odd miles from Paoning, and since that I have 
kept the weekly anniversary of that day, that is every Friday, 


for half a day of prayer and fasting with special reference to 
Szechwan. Others of the Szechwan detachment are, I believe, 
doing so too. 

Refreshed by this brief visit Phelps held on, still 
living in an inn, but this time inside the city near the 
West Gate, and assisted now by another Chinese named 

But the negotiations were protracted, and Cassels 
was obliged to fulfil engagements elsewhere. There 
were Mr. C. F. Hogg and Miss Muir to be married at 
Hanchung, and Mr. Gray Owen and Miss Butland 
awaiting his arrival for the same purpose at Chengtu, 
and there was, despite his strong views on celibacy, 
his own engagement as an appropriate preface to these 
weddings. But such a crisis in his own experience 
demands a chapter to itself, so that the story of the 
opening of the city must be completed first. 

Eventually during the spring of 1887 Phelps' atten- 
tion was drawn to a suitable house at the north end of 
the main East Street. The owner was a remarkable 
Mohammedan widow named Ku, a striking personality 
with great strength of character. Terms were arranged, 
the deed of rental signed, and the date fixed for entry, 
but only into a portion of the building, for there were 
several tenants. As had been anticipated opposition 
arose as before, but Mrs. Ku was not a woman easily to 
be terrorised, and she resolutely held her ground. 

In view of some unavoidable delay in taking posses- 
sion, Phelps gladly accepted the offer of Arthur Polhill 
to relieve him for a time. But more formidable opposi- 
tion now arose. Gongs were beaten, crowds were 
gathered, and the people exhorted not to yield to the 
foreigner. Again the agreement was destroyed, and 
all prospects of success disappeared. 

On hearing of this trouble Phelps hastened back, 


and shortly afterwards, through the good offices of a 
secretary of the District Magistrate, with whom he had 
formed a friendship, an interview was arranged with 
the official himself who, being a native of the coast 
province of Chekiang, was more acquainted with the 
ways of foreigners than the local gentry. With his 
approval the deed was re-written, the possession of 
three rooms in the south section was secured, and with 
a grateful heart Phelps took possession with his teacher 
and servant. 

But all demonstrations of ill-will did not cease, for 
a few weeks later Phelps' fears were suddenly awakened 
in the middle of the night by the noise of an approach- 
ing procession. With a bang and a crash the door was 
smashed in and the crowd surged through. Without 
showing any signs of alarm Phelps asked by what rules 
of etiquette this unseemly intrusion was allowed, when 
most unexpectedly and without any explanation the 
crowd withdrew as they had come. On the next day 
the leader of the procession sent an apology, and before 
long the possession of the whole compound, with the 
exception of a small court in the north-west corner, 1 
reserved by Mrs. Ku for herself and two grandchildren, 
gave a fuller sense of security, though opposition did 
not fully cease. 

Here at the beginning of August, 1887, Cassels and 
several others assembled to commence settled work. 
But before we take up that narrative we must go back 
a few months to follow more fully Cassels' own story. 

1 This remaining portion was only secured by the Rev. W. H. Aldis 
seventeen years later in 1904. 


Of all the sweet and noble names that a woman bears, there is 
none so rich, so sweet, so lasting and so fruitful as just her first 
Divine name of helpmeet. Her Father, so to speak, gave her away 
under this noble name. And how favoured of God is that man to 
be accounted whose life still continues to draw help out of his wife's 
fulness of help, till all her and his days together he is able to say, I 
have of God a helpmeet indeed ! ALEXANDER WHYTE. 

IN the autumn of 1885, not long after Cassels had 
reached Shansi, he had written to his mother saying, 
" Mrs. Hargreaves writes to me that a Miss Legg, a 
South Lambeth Sunday School teacher, was going to 
start for China in a month's time ! ! " Beyond his two 
exclamation marks he makes no comment. Those 
marks might signify anything or nothing. That they 
came to mean everything, despite his resolutions to 
keep single, is the subject of this chapter. 

Miss Mary Louisa Legg was the first of the six 
workers from the South Lambeth Parish to follow 
William Cassels to China. Converted when about 
twelve years of age at some Children's Services held on 
the beach at St. Leonards, she had more fully dedicated 
herself to God at the time of her confirmation two years 
later. Her home was in St. Leonards, where she was 
educated, and where for a time she took up teaching as 
her profession. Though blessed with a good and 
gracious mother there were elements in her early life 
one of these being an invalid and crippled sister 
which, by their chastening and discipline, began their 



good work of developing a noble and brave spirit. 
Resolved to bear her share of life's burdens, though 
she could have remained at home, she accepted the post 
of Assistant-Mistress in a school in London, which led 
her to join All Saints' Church, where Cassels was 
curate. Here she threw herself with youthful ardour 
into such activities of the Church as her time allowed, 
becoming a zealous worker in the Mission band and 
among the costermongers and factory girls. 

Having offered to the China Inland Mission and 
been accepted, she sailed for China on December 12, 
1885, under the escort of Dr. and Mrs. Douthwaite, 
and in company with three other lady workers, landing 
in Shanghai on February 2, 1886. The life and testi- 
mony of this party on board were blessed to many of 
the crew, and one officer at least. So manifest was the 
change in these men that officers and passengers alike 
bore witness to it, and ere the missionary party left the 
ship they were presented with the following letter 
signed by those who had been helped : 

February 2nd, 1886. 

To OUR DEAR CHRISTIAN FRIENDS We, the undersigned, 
feel deeply grateful to you for being the means of our finding 
salvation and true happiness : we feel so much indebted to 
you that we cannot find words to convey sufficiently our mean- 
ing. But, although we shall be separated by land and sea, we 
will pray to God that, in His great mercy, He will watch over 
and protect you from all harm and danger, and that you may 
be the means of bringing many, many souls to Christ. Trusting 
that you will remember us in your prayers, and that we shall 
all meet together in that beautiful land on high, is the prayer 
of your loving friends. 

[Here follow the signatures of the men.] 

The months of spring were spent by Mary Legg at 
the Mission's Language School at Yangchow, both then 
and for many years after under the loving and motherly 

As missionary candidate in 1885. 

To face page 94. 


care of Miss Mariamne Murray. With the same good 
friend she proceeded later to Takutang, a lovely spot 
near the foot of the mountains overlooking the Poyang 
Lake, and under the shadow of the more recently 
developed hill resort, Ruling. Here she passed the hot 
and trying days of summer. It was during this time 
of retreat that she received a letter from her friend, 
William Cassels, from which it is clear that a mutual 
attachment existed between them. In this communi- 
cation written from Shansi he tells her of his conviction 
of being called to remain single, a declaration which she 
acknowledged, when writing to a bosom friend, came 
to her as a painful shock. Fond hopes were thus 
dashed and dreams dispelled for a time. But though 
the course of true love is said never to run smooth it 
still runs irresistibly. In this case it was only pent up 
to burst forth later with overwhelming force. 

From Ruling Mary Legg returned in the autumn 
to Yangchow whence, as a Church of England worker, 
she was designated by Hudson Taylor to Hanchung 
with a view to labouring subsequently in Szechwan. 
Travelling up the Han River under the escort of Mr. 
and Mrs. Hutton, she reached her destination a little 
more than a year after her landing in Shanghai. 

From some of those with whom she lived during 
her first year or two in China we learn that she was in 
those early days a diligent student of the language, a 
lovable and beautiful soul, personally attractive, some- 
what forceful and masterful in character, and with " a 
voice like a bird ". Such was Mary Louisa Legg 
when she reached Hanchung toward the end of 
February, 1887. 

According to promise William Cassels was due at 
Hanchung in March to marry Mr. C. F. Hogg and 
Miss Muir, and here he again met Miss Legg, whom 


he had not seen for more than two years. Meeting her 
thus face to face, especially as he had come for a 
wedding, raised an issue which he had thought dead. 
The whole question had to be debated again. Had he 
or had he not been Divinely guided in his decision not 
to marry ? Despite himself his feelings now challenged 
his theories. Past convictions and love's present plead- 
ings engaged in a battle royal. He was not a man to 
be lightly swayed by his emotions, so there was no 
easy surrender. But with his friend before him he 
felt he must arrive at a decision concerning himself 
and his friend which could not be shaken, ere he 
officiated at the marriage he had come to perform. 

It is no exaggeration to say that for days he endured 
real agony of mind about it all. What was God's will ? 
Was he allowing a second best to contend with God's 
highest ? If he did decide to remain single himself he 
knew that this would be like a sword in the side of his 
friend, whom he loved despite himself. He was pre- 
pared to deny himself, but love's keenest shaft pierced 
him as he thought of wounding another. But the 
great thing was to know God's mind. He prayed, he 
fasted, he sought God's Word for light upon his path, 
and one whole day at least he spent by himself alone 
with God in the open fields north of the city, until at 
length he felt convinced of God's guiding hand. Then 
peace and assurance took possession, and on Sunday 
evening, March 13, after the little English service, he 
and his friend plighted their troth in that far away 
Chinese city, and upon that pledge of human love God 
set His everlasting seal. 

That Cassels should have become engaged and in 
such a precipitate fashion as it appeared laid him 
open to no end of chaff . Here was the man who had so 
vehemently expressed his convictions in favour of the 


single life convictions he had preached to others 
surrendering them almost at first sight or so it seemed. 
And when within forty-eight hours of his own engage- 
ment to Mary Legg he spoke on the Marriage at Cana 
in Galilee at Mr. and Mrs. Hogg's wedding, and asked 
in all innocence " And what did Mary say ? " the risible 
faculties of even his most sedate friends could not be 
restrained. Friendly banter inevitably followed, but 
the joy was his, and how he justified his volte face is 
best described by his own letter to Mr. Stevenson, 
dated March 21 : 

David enquired of the Lord, " Shall I go up against the 
Philistines ? And the Lord said Go ". He went and prospered, 
(i Chronicles xiv. 10.) " And the Philistines yet again spread 
themselves abroad, and David enquired again ", and the answer 
was different, " Go not ". He did not make the mistake of 
thinking that the guidance in one case was to be the guidance 
in every case. This, however, is the mistake we are apt to 
make. It was the mistake I was making. I was thinking the 
guidance of last year was the guidance of to-day, when it is 
now evident that the Lord has other purposes for me. 

If any matter was ever undertaken with prayer and long 
waiting upon the Lord to know His Will my engagement is 
such a matter. The time may seem to have been short, but 
circumstances needed that it should be brought to a head. By 
the grace of God I could have borne my own burden and 
gone off to Szechwan leaving things as they were ; but I could 
not bear her grief, knowing too well, and better than any 
around me, what was making her so ill. So things could not 
be delayed. I am so certain of .the Lord's guidance and am 
confident that I have His smile upon me. Each day assures 
me more and more that He is the Doer of it, and I feel " I shall 
yet praise Him more and more ". You are aware that I have 
known Miss Legg for three or four years. . . . Our Master 
Himself began His earthly ministry and manifested forth His 
glory at a marriage feast. Hallelujah ! Will you not then, 
dear Mr. Stevenson, pray for us that we may serve the Lord 
as we could not possibly have served Him singly. 

There is one other letter of Cassels penned during 
this visit to Hanchung dated six days before his 



engagement, from, which some extracts must be given to 
reveal his utter devotion to the Lord and His work, and 
at the same time his desire that that work should be 
rightly governed. 

One of the first letters I opened [he writes Mr. Stevenson 
on March yth] of the unusually large mail which has just 
reached me was yours of January i/j-th. I cannot tell you what 
joy it gave me to hear from you and I did thank God. . . . 

" Oh, it has been a time of " abiding satisfied ". " The Word 
was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, 
the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace 
and truth." This is still true. I hear that such expressions 
are being disapproved of, but I must state the blessed fact of 
my deep experience, that I have utterly lost my heart on 
Jesus. ... 

But herein lies the mystery and the paradox. I do feel in 
a most terrible state of dissatisfaction. I do long for more of 
the outflowing of the rivers of water the " more abundantly " 
which the King has promised to His servants. . . . 

The Lord gave us a message from your circular letter at a 
little prayer meeting we had about the Chinese New Year. It 
was re-read, and stirred many of us to more of that kind of 
prayer which cannot do without fasting, and the message 
reached beyond us to some of the Chinese, for the arrows 
which God gives to His children go very far and very deep. 
The great matter before us, as you said then and say again, is 
to glorify God by saving souls. To the winds with all our 
Church organisation and proper sanctions and so on, unless we 
set this first and last too ! 

God has sent us to China, has put us in the work to glorify 
Him and to be His messengers to poor benighted men, and 
by His grace we will do this. We want to preach the Gospel 
to every creature in Szechwan ; we want a wave of converting 
power to roll over the province, and we want each Christian to 
be stamped with the mark " Holiness to the Lord ". . . . 

Directly after the wedding (of Mr. and Mrs. Hogg) I start 
for Chengtu, to keep as near as possible to Mr. Taylor's request, 
that I should be there early in March to marry Mr. Gray 
Owen and Miss Butland, and let the Clarks get away. ... I 
may then pursue the study of the language either at Chengtu 
or Paoning. In the absence of further instructions the Lord 
will guide me in other ways. I have sent my luggage by my 
boy to Paoning. . . . 

Thanks so much for telling me all about your conference 


with kind Archdeacon Moule. ... I am very glad you were 
able to have it all well talked out, for though I am feeling 
intensely that the salvation of souls is so important that any 
difficulties of other kinds must utterly go to the wall before 
that, yet I believe that our glorious Lord is going to bless His 
work, and I do intend by His grace to walk through the land 
and possess it for Jesus, so it is well to have our arrangements 
made for the formation and orderly carrying on of churches. 

Since the letters which the Archdeacon refers to I have 
written again to him. I also told him, as you did, that I saw 
no fear of any clashing between the Bishop and the China 
Inland Mission Council or Superintendents, and quoted the 
cases of Colonial Bishops superintending missionaries. It 
seems to me that the fear of clashing will be no more and no 
less than in these cases. 

In keeping with Mr. Taylor's request he left as soon 
as the wedding at Hanchung permitted for the marriage 
arranged at Chengtu, in which city he settled down for 
a period of study, hoping to receive word any day that 
Phelps had been prospered in his quest for a house at 
Paoning. The delay in securing premises there very 
far exceeded his expectations and proved a real trial 
to his eager spirit. His letters written during his four 
months' stay at the capital of the province revealed the 
yearnings of his heart over needy Szechwan and his 
consuming desire to gain a foothold at Paoning. 

I can hardly bear [he says, writing to Mr. Stevenson on 
April aoth] to write 1887 when it recalls to one the awful 
fact that after all these eighteen hundred years there are only 
some fifty Christians in this province of twenty million people, 
millions of whom have never heard the name of Jesus. I 
suppose we have been in the province some ten years. Can 
it be God's Will that we should make converts at the rate of 
five a year ? I have been considering the question to-day, and 
trying to find out what the rate of progress is God intends 
should be. ... 

The Clarks started on Tuesday, the iath, Cecil [Polhill] 
Turner and Phelps travelling with them to Chungking. The 
province is thus being left with six missionaries until others 
arrive. It is about time we cried to the Lord for thirty men 
and thirty women. Some of us hardly knew what we were 


doing when we kept praying for women to be sent to Szechwan. 
Little did we think that to answer our prayer the Lord would 
have to overturn our deepest prejudices, not to say convictions. 
How could He send sisters to Eastern Szechwan unless some 
brothers made homes for them ? I remain here sticking hard 
to books. Arthur [Polhill] Turner starts for Paoning to-morrow 
to take possession of the house in the name of the Lord. We 
have been asking the Lord for this particular house for some 
time, and have determined to stick to it. He says, " For what 
dost thou make request ? " wanting a definite petition. 

To-day at noon Mr. Liang arrived saying he had bad news. 
There was no chance now to get the house, and he feared it 
was not God's Will that we should have one in Paoning at 
all. . . . Hearing this we all felt rather bowled over. What 
did the Lord mean ? How about our prayers ? We fell on 
our knees and asked Him to teach us. It then came to us all 
that it was a trial of faith and we must hold on. We mean to. 
Arthur [Polhill] Turner starts to-morrow, going to walk into 
the house, find an empty room there are said to be two or 
three uninhabited and seat himself down. The house is 
legally ours, money having been already paid over. We have 
tried the man-man-tih plan (slowly, slowly) for twelve months. 
We believe the Lord will honour faith and courage. 

Mr. Liang is horrified and thinks us mad. He wants to be 
allowed to go on first and see what he can do. ... We told 
him that if he attempted to discourage us or to go on first and 
spoil the plan of getting in we should prefer to keep him here. 
I think he received encouragement by hearing the plans we 
adopted just this time last year at Taning (Shansi). I had 
already been turned out of one place by the Mandarin's in- 
fluence, and while I was absent the Mandarin, in addition to 
bringing charges against me and the Christians, told the land- 
lord I was no longer to be allowed my house, and the door 
was to be locked. On my return I got through the window. 
. . . We are acting on distinct guidance given us on our knees, 
and we are going to entertain no doubts, but trust. 

Six days later he wrote again : 

I am hard at work at the language, giving myself almost 
exclusively to that and being helped. . . . Those verses, " The 
Lord is able to give thee much more than this " and " God is 
able of these stones to raise up children " have been much in 
my mind for Szechwan. . . . There are such nice quiet times 
in the beautiful garden here, no longer hiding from the Lord 
amongst the trees, but meeting Him face to face, brought nigh 


by Jesus. ... Oh for the heaviness of Paul, oh for the tears 
of the Lord Jesus, for the agonies of the Lord Jesus for the 
unfathomable love which tore Him from glory and made Him 
set His face steadfastly to face death ! Oh for deeds, and not 
empty words and feelings! "Do it," is a word given me 
lately. Pray that I may. 

After referring to a beloved fellow-worker who 
desired to work in Tibet, he proceeded : 

I asked him what Mr. Taylor's views were, and he said 
that the matter would probably be determined by the guidance 
he himself received. I only said that I trusted the Lord 
would make it all plain to him, and that I believed people 
were led in very different ways. I do think, however, that 
many of us need more caution on the matter of guidance. If 
we were quite sure that no secret self-pleasing found its way 
into our hearts we should be safer in taking our own course 
rather than the advice of those who have been taught by years 
of experience. Personally (though perhaps it may be the devil 
has stirred up one to fret against general instructions and their 
bondage, until the Lord taught one to rejoice afresh in any- 
thing new which would help in the emptying process) there are 
times in which I have the greatest longing for the presence of 
an older missionary to advise and direct me. It has been 
natural to me to lean on others too much rather than too little. 
And this leads me to say how thankful I shall always be for 
hints, warning and advice as to my work and my movements. 

The very best thing for us at times is a really good sitting 
upon. Now for example, in the matter of my marriage I do 
want to follow your advice and that of Mr. Taylor, who had 
seen a good deal of Miss Legg at Yangchow, and knows her 
state of health, and may possibly have got to know what some 
there did know, how deeply Miss Legg has prayed about this 
matter for a long time. 

From my attitude at Taiyuanfu you may think me change- 
able in the extreme, but I think I have already suggested that 
I have mistaken temporary for permanent guidance. . . . 

My heart is just burdened for Eastern Szechwan. Oh that 
He would rend the Heavens and come down, and do things that 
we look not for something quite exceeding our expectation, 
and He will. Blessed are all they that wait upon Him. 

Writing again on May 6, he says : 

Our faith continues to be tried about Paoning. Arthur 
[Polhill] Turner's coolie returned on Wednesday night with a 


note saying that he had been prevented carrying out the plan 
of entering the house. . . . We at once had a council of war. 
... It seemed right to send off somebody else to help our 
brother. Mr. Wang, a very good man for this sort of work, 
had been suggested by Gray Owen. He was most agreeable, 
and warmed up splendidly at the thought of the work. He 
has plenty of " go " and is not timid. His wife stopped up all 
night to get his things ready, and he started off the next morn- 
ing (yesterday). I trust the brethren will be glad to have him, 
and will not be afraid of superseding Chang Wa. It seems to 
us that after all these months carrying on the matter in the 
man-man-tih style it is tune to make a determined effort, and 
as we believe it is God's Will to give us a place we need not 
be afraid of going ahead. Of old they boldly walked into the 
Jordan and the waters divided as their feet touched them. We 
have not yet put God to the proof in this way at Paoning. 
We have rather been watching to see if the waters would divide 
before making the effort. I remain here studying hard. It 
could have been no use my going as no doubt Phelps has 
arrived by this time, and two foreigners (Phelps and Arthur 
[Polhill] Turner) will be plenty. 

But though possession of the house was obtained 
at Paoning there was still considerable opposition, and 
for a time Cassels remained at the capital. Writing 
under date of June 3, he said : 

How different are things in Szechwan. What idol worship ! 
What superstition ! What careful observance of idolatrous 
rites ! What magnificent temples ! What crowds of priests I 
What tinkling of bells and chanting of prayers ! What burning 
of incense and candles, paper money, and all the rest of this 
heathen paraphernalia ! But in proportion as the work is more 
difficult the triumph of grace will be more glorious. 

P.S. I think I ought to tell you that Mr. Horsburgh of 
the Church Missionary Society has written to me to know if 
I think it possible for him to come and work up here in 
Szechwan as a Church Missionary Society missionary and to 
work along with us. He came out for extension work, and 
wishes to get further inland. He is also very much in favour 
of our simpler and more native style of living and working. 
He suggests that his coming might make it easier for Bishop 
Moule to visit Szechwan in course of time. ... I wrote to 
tell him that I saw no obstacle, and personally I should heartily 
welcome him if the Lord so directed. 


At this juncture the illness of a brother missionary 
unexpectedly delayed his departure, for on June 15 he 
wrote : 

I am now writing in great haste, for it having become in- 
creasingly evident that dear Gray Owen has caught the small- 
pox it has been decided that I may have the privilege of nursing 
him, and he is to be brought in here. 

Nearly a month later, on July 13, he reports the 
arrival of new workers, of his joy in welcoming them, 
though his own spartan habits caused him to rebel a 
little against the less austere ways of others. 

If I write of my own doings [he says], it must be a tale 
of some three or four weeks of table-serving and ministering 
to the brethren in temporal things. In as far as this has been 
not for myself but for others it has been as acceptable to the 
Lord as other work. It does, however, appear to me to be 
very questionable whether the way we encumber ourselves 
with worldly possessions is altogether pleasing to our Master, 
and they certainly engross us a great part of our time. There 
was the nursing of dear Gray Owen. When he came over 
into my room he was so ill that the being carried across was 
most exhausting, and for some days he had to be fed every 
two or three hours, night and day, with a spoon. . . . 

Excellent news has just come from my parish, some half a 
dozen have China deeply laid on their hearts, they are excellent 
workers too. How nice for them to form a colony out here in 
Szechwan. . . . 

" Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the 
things of old." 

" Behold, I will do a new thing ; now it shall spring forth ; 
shall ye not know it ? I will even make a way in the wilderness, 
and rivers in the desert." 

" The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and 
the owls ; because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers 
in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen." 

" This people have I formed for myself ; they shall show 
forth my praise." 

These truths are getting hold of us, and we are keeping on 
praying for new things in this province. Oh for souls ! Oh 
for souls ! My heart aches to win souls and see souls won. 
I cannot imagine any real completeness in the peace of anyone 


who is not winning souls or engaged in work which more or 
less directly tends to the winning of souls. For myself I know 
there is a great unsatisfied gap in my heart when I lay down 
at night after spending a day arranging furniture, curtains, 
pictures, etc., and so on, and I cannot testify to feelings of 
joy, though it may be ever so necessary to have these things, 
and these things may all be done to the glory of God. Do 
join us in prayer for souls in this province. Oh to bring in 
lost ones ! just a few this year. Oh for some out and out 
conversions ! Oh for a general wake-up both among ourselves 
and the Chinese Christians ! 

If I could stop until our new brethren get settled down we 
might have some hours of laying hold of our mighty God about 
this, but they will be very busy for some days yet. 

The wealth of correspondence dating from Chengtu 
is somewhat embarrassing, but we must not omit to 
reproduce one or two paragraphs from one of his letters 
to his mother : 

Just a few Sunday words with you. My letters on my 
journey from Hanchung to this great city have gone in another 
direction. But I do not love my Mother less for that reason. 
I think I love and value her more than ever. Perhaps I feel 
more than ever how I should like to have some talks with you, 
dear Mother, and tell you all about everything. . . . 

When you pray for me, as I know you do incessantly, will 
you link with my name her name with whom my life is so 
closely connected, asking that we may " glorify God in our 
bodies and our souls which are His ". That we may be 
strengthened for and used in His blessed service and that we 
may be enabled to extend His Kingdom largely in this province 
of Szechwan. 

The need which there will probably be after a time for us 
to make a home for other " sisters " who will be coming to 
work in the proposed Church District in Eastern Szechwan, 
will probably lead to our being married in a year, but Mr. 
Taylor will be able to tell you what he thinks about this. . . . 

At length toward the end of July, Gray Owen being 
convalescent and the new arrivals comfortably settled, 
Cassels left the capital to take up his residence in 
Paoning, where he was to make his home until his death 
more than thirty-eight years later. Within a few days 


of his arrival there, there was temporarily gathered 
together a goodly company of workers in this new 
station, which must have rejoiced his heart. In addi- 
tion to himself there were Beauchamp, Cecil and Arthur 
Polhill Turner, making four of the Cambridge Band, 
and on August 5 Phelps and Hope-Gill joined them, 
the latter being another Cambridge man who had come 
out through Cassels' influence. 

Praise the Lord [he writes on August 4th] for bringing 
me here at last. I am so delighted to be here. I know that 
many are praying for this place, and so feel I have got into the 
current of prayer. We are certain to have blessing here. It 
must come, though the battle will be fierce and the devil will 
try hard to upset us. 

We have begun work at once. Tuesday morning we gave 
to prayer and fasting, and in the afternoon did the first street 
preaching that has been done here, except when Mr. Pearse 
and others have visited the place. We hope, please God, to 
continue this daily, but our hope is not from any efforts of our 
own, but from God pouring out blessing in answer to prayer. 

You will not forget to pray, amongst other things, that 
when we all assemble here we may be of one accord, and have 
a meek and yielding spirit towards one another. For having 
each of us different experience and different ways of looking 
at things, the devil would like to make us pull in different 
directions. Many men, many minds, often (as I have known) 
lead to difficulties. . . . 

Phelps is expected shortly from Hanchung, and it is thought 
Gill may be coming with him. I am really expecting the Lord 
to make the latter a very useful worker by directing;' his warm 
feelings into the right channels. 

Yes, dear old Phelps does deserve our thanks (and I have 
repeatedly told him so) for plodding on here and at length 
getting such a capital house. . . . 

I have great expectations from this district. Especially as 
I have lately heard of much prayer being put up for Eastern 
Szechwan. There seems to be quite an awakening of mis- 
sionary interest in my old parish. A new curate (Meadows 
by name) seems to have something to do with this, and Miss 
Culverwell's coming out has also helped to stir them up. 
There are more to follow. There always is more to follow, 
praise God ! 


What is House and what is Home, 
Where with freedom thou hast room 
And may'st to all tyrants say, 
This you cannot take away ? 
'Tis nothing with doors and walls, 
Which at every earthquake falls. 

Home is everywhere to thee, 
Who can'st thy own dwelling be. 


IT had been Cassels' original intention to delay marriage 
for at least another year that he might engage more 
freely in itineration. But, with a house secured, Mr. 
Stevenson suggested that he should come down to 
Shanghai, see Bishop Moule, secure his licence, and at 
the same time be married. It was hoped that in this 
way the Mission's Church of England work would be 
regularised and Paoning secure a home for the reception 
of new workers, ladies included. 

Nothing loath to respond, William Cassels and Miss 
Legg set out for the coast under the welcome escort of 
Dr. and Mrs. William Wilson. The journey down the 
Han river was swift and enjoyable, and Wuchang on 
the mighty Yangtze was safely reached late one evening. 
In a hurried effort to enter the city before the gates 
were closed, only hand luggage was taken, the rest of 
their possessions being left in the care of the boatmen. 
Next morning to their dismay they learned that the 
boat had been plundered and all their goods, wedding 



garments included, had disappeared. Happily among 
the things taken into the city was a small handbag 
containing a cheque which amply met their immediate 
needs. This cheque, which had at first appeared a 
luxury, thus became a necessity, and was long remem- 
bered as one outstanding instance of God's timely 

On Tuesday, October 4, 1887, William. Wharton 
Cassels and Mary Louisa Legg were married in the 
Cathedral at Shanghai, Dean Hodges, an old Cambridge 
friend of the bridegroom's brother John, officiating. 

After the briefest honeymoon the newly married 
couple prepared for their long journey home, but not 
before William Cassels had seen Bishop G. E. Moule, 
from whom he received his Episcopal licence author- 
ising him to minister in Szechwan, which province, 
though nearly two thousand miles away, was nominally 
within the Bishop's jurisdiction. 

Of the long and anxious conversations between 
Bishop Moule and William Cassels we have no record, 
but several references in subsequent correspondence 
make the tenor of parts of it quite clear. It was a new 
and novel departure to develop a Church of England 
work within the borders of an interdenominational 
Mission, and Bishop Moule was not without some 
natural and serious misgivings. But reference to this 
will appear later. The next step was the journey west. 

Accompanied by two new workers, Miss Davis and 
Miss E. Culverwell, the latter from South Lambeth, 
Mr. and Mrs. Cassels set their faces toward Szechwan, 
knowing full well that their entry into their new home 
would be far removed from what such an entry is to 
newly married couples in the homeland. Hitherto no 
foreign lady had set foot in Paoning city, so a boisterous 
reception was expected. But the deepest and most 


abiding joys are not dependent upon externals, though 
these are not to be despised. They soon learned to 
say : 

Home is everywhere to thee, 
Who can'st thy own dwelling be. 

After a passing visit to the Mission's two Language 
Schools at Yangchow and Anking on their way up river, 
where they were rejoiced to see a goodly company of 
new recruits some of the Hundred they commenced 
the fascinating yet dangerous journey west by means 
of a Chinese houseboat. Having come down to the 
coast by the Han River route they returned by the 
Yangtze, travelling through the tremendous Yangtze 
Gorges, which afford some of the most majestic scenery 
in the world. Here nature may be seen in her most 
magnificent moods. Here are the swirling waters of 
this mighty river, the rushing, foaming rapids, the 
engulfing whirlpools, with beetling cliffs towering up 
thousands of feet on either side. The whole scene 
seems shut in by inescapable mountains, but every bend 
of the river reveals an unexpected outlet with some new 
and charming vista. For mile after mile these wonder- 
ful gorges are an unsurpassed revelation of grandeur 
and beauty. 

But though William Cassels always had a keen eye 
for nature's beauty, and seldom returned from a journey 
without some new illustrations from her, what most 
impressed him, judging by his letters, was the over- 
whelming spiritual destitution of the people. 

This journey [he wrote] has made me realise in a much 
more vivid way than before, the needs of this vast province of 
Szechwan. Fengtu is the sixth large city that we have passed 
in this province, not reckoning the many unwalled market- 
towns. The population of these places varies from thirty 
thousand in the smaller cities, up to ten or twelve, or even 
fifteen times that number in the larger cities. They have been 


visited occasionally by agents of the Bible Society with Scrip- 
ture portions. But apart from this, nothing is being done for 
these thousands of souls nay, millions of souls. I saw two 
little beggar boys in the city this morning standing outside one 
of the native eating-houses, their naked bodies (for they had 
but the merest rag upon their loins) all begrimed with dirt, 
and their faces pinched with cold and hunger. People passed 
into the shop and fed to the full, and crowds of well-fed people 
brushed past them in the street, but no one took any notice of 
them or seemed to care for their state. 

They were heartless people in that town not to do some- 
thing substantial for these tiny starved beggar boys, were they 
not ? But is not the Church of God more heartless to leave 
the heathen thus to perish for lack of the bread of life ? How 
utterly insignificant was the only work that I could do in passing 
through this morning ; and when will there again be anyone 
there to witness for God ? It may be even years at the present 

Three days later he wrote again : 

I am writing now at a later day (Christmas Eve). Since I 
began this letter we have left behind us another large city with 
a population, according to the enquiries which I made, of some 
three hundred thousand souls. 

Whilst we are in the neighbourhood of each city we plead 
for it very specially before our God, and ask Him to send 
forth truly-called labourers to occupy it and all of them 
for Him, to make them centres of light instead of centres of 

Oh that He would impress His " Go " deeply upon some 
hearts with reference to these cities, and oh that they would 
receive His Word and come forth to obey it ! 

These cities are in our district ; that is, in the district of 
Eastern Szechwan which has been specially set apart for work 
on Church of England lines, and for those who, believing these 
lines to be scriptural, are anxious to work on them, whilst, of 
course, maintaining the deepest brotherly love and goodwill 
towards those who in these immaterial things see differently. 
Who will come forth and help to wipe off the blood of the 
heathen from the Church's robes ? 

I am praying that God would lay the burden of this district 
upon many souls, and that they may give themselves over into 
His hands for it. Some would come personally. Others would 
come by deputy, if they are clearly kept from having the 
privilege of coming themselves. Some would set themselves 


to daily, systematic, continuous, believing prayer for the outpour- 
ing of the Spirit upon the workers and the work. Others 
might have the privilege of giving of their means for the 
carrying on of the work here, while there may be a few, too, 
who, called by God to other work themselves, would especially 
bring its claims before those who are at liberty to come. 

The cities I have spoken of lie only upon one side of this 
great district. There are, besides, numbers of other cities in 
the interior parts, and on the other sides of the eastern part of 
Szechwan. In all these, too, there are lost sheep to be found, 
there is the Gospel to be proclaimed by word and by living 
witness, there is God to be glorified by the subjection to Him 
of these usurping idols, and demons and spirits of sin. 

Since I have been out here I have felt so much how deeply 
we need the help of labourers at home for missionary work, 
as well as a very large addition to the number of actual labourers 
on the field. And of these home labourers the most important 
will be those who give themselves to the work of prayer. 

In this pleading for prayer I am not going beyond Scripture 

Chungking was reached in time for William Cassels 
and his wife to spend the last day of the old year, 1887, 
there in prayer and fasting, in keeping with what had 
long been the Mission's custom. Then, in company 
with Miss Culverwell, they set off to complete the 
remaining stages of their journey to Paoning, which 
city was reached about the middle of January, 1888. 

Their entry into their new home was an ordeal for 
all concerned, and not without anxiety. Speaking of 
this many years later Bishop Cassels said : " We entered 
Paoning at night stealthily, fearing to create alarm ". 
And this was only natural. The arrival of foreign 
women for the first time was an event to move the city, 
and no sooner did the news leak out than crowds, over- 
whelming crowds, almost terrifying crowds, surged into 
the premises, both to the danger of the people and 
property. It needed all the ingenuity, patience, and 
forbearance of the missionaries to control the situation. 

Such times are trying to live through, being a strain 


upon both mind and nerve, especially when the curi- 
osity is unabated for days and weeks. We may there- 
fore picture our friends in that home on the main East 
Street, after some fifteen weeks of travel, being thronged 
with almost unmanageable crowds, instead of entering 
into the peace and quiet of a restful home. The house 
stood on two sides of a fairly large quadrangle, but 
every foot of space was filled to overflowing. To be 
beset with endless crowds, to have no escape from early 
morning till late at night from inquisitive prying eyes, 
to know no privacy and no refuge from insatiable 
curiosity, must be experienced to be appreciated. Like 
the disciples of old, they were without leisure so much 
as to eat. 

Speaking of those times Montagu Beauchamp, who 
was a tower of strength on such occasions, has said : 

The early days in Paoning were almost entirely occupied 
with the crowds that came, crowds that were absolutely over- 
whelming, especially at the time of the Dragon Festival. Then 
they stormed into the women's apartments, and we put up a 
partition. Standing up against this partition I turned out the 
crowds, sometimes forcibly, and one day to my astonishment 
they turned on me. 

About a month after their arrival, just when the 
greatest excitement had subsided, the Chinese New 
Year brought a fresh inflow of visitors. Of this occa- 
sion and of the Paoning house a somewhat full descrip- 
tion was written by Mrs. Cassels, which helps us to 
picture the situation. 

A fortnight ago [she writes] was the Chinese New 
Year. In the morning guests began to arrive in large numbers, 
increasing as the day wore on until about 5 o'clock, when they 
began to return and go home for their rice. These crowds of 
visitors have continued day by day until now, and almost all 
our time has been spent in the guest-hall receiving our visitors 
and seeking to tell them of a Saviour. Mrs. Chen, a dear 
Chinese Christian from Hanchung, has been an invaluable help 


to me, and has preached the Gospel most earnestly day after 
day to her heathen sisters. Her bright testimony to the 
Saviour's power to deliver from sin has had great weight. . . . 

And now I think I must tell you something of my new 
home. Our house is situated outside the city walls, and is in 
a very good position for work. In a few minutes one can get 
into the city. This makes it very convenient for street preach- 
ing, also for those living inside the city who wish to visit us. 
On the other hand we can get into the lovely country lanes in 
less than five minutes, which is a great boon to us. These are 
the first lanes I have seen in China. Just now they are lovely, 
and the leaves all bursting forth and the hedgerows lined with 
violets and other wild flowers. Our hearts are full of praise 
to our loving Heavenly Father for providing us a home in this 
place, and for giving us such beautiful surroundings. 

Now I must try and describe very briefly our house. It is 
all on the ground floor, of course, being a native house. In 
the front we have a large square court with some shrubs in the 
centre and several fine trees growing in different places. One 
side of the court is bounded by a high wall, and at one end is 
the large entrance door. On entering you have on your left 
two large rooms which were originally used as shops, but which 
now serve as the opium refuge. At present we have several 
men there who have come in to break off the bad habit of 
opium smoking. Facing the entrance door are another set of 
rooms. One is large and lofty, and is used by us as the Chapel. 
We meet there for morning and evening prayers, and for 
worship on Sundays, and two or three times during the week 
in the evening. Next to this room come the rooms in which 
the single gentlemen live, and a nice book-room. At present 
we have only Mr. Beauchamp here, so the other two are vacant. 

On the right side of the court is the main building, in 
which we live. It is disconnected with the other two blocks, 
and the court in front is paved with large flag stones. The 
room in the centre of this building is large and pleasant. This 
is kept for receiving Chinese guests of importance, and for 
taking those who are interested in the Gospel for quiet talks 
and prayer. A door opens from this room into a smaller one 
looking on to the back court. This is used by my husband as 
his study. To the right are two rooms used by Miss Culverwell, 
and beyond these the women's guest hall. This is a nice large 
room, and looks very bright with the texts and tracts pasted 
on the walls. To the left of the centre room are two rooms 
corresponding to Miss Culverwell's on the right. These we 
use as a private sitting-room and bedroom. Beyond is a large 



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room which opens on to the back court, and is our dining- 
room. The back court is a nice open place, though not so 
large as the front one. There are a few trees growing, one a 
beautiful peach tree, which is just now out in full blossom, and 
looks just lovely. 

To the right is a wing connected with the main building, 
consisting of three good rooms. In one of these our woman 
sleeps, and another woman who has come to break off opium 
smoking. We hope to use this wing as an opium refuge 
eventually. The kitchens and the servants' rooms are built 
just a short distance off from the other buildings. 

A month or two after Chinese New Year the students 
came up for the great triennial examinations. Again 
these courtyards were filled with eager and curious 

For over twenty days [wrote Montagu Beauchamp] we 
had been here at work with guests coming in large numbers, 
for the city was full of candidates for the great triennial ex- 
amination. The scholars kept us at work from morning till 
night, and almost all who came were presented with a book 
and tract, while several hundred Gospels were also given away. 
... It was real hard work, needing all the physical strength 
one could muster. 

Before the rush of scholar visitors was over we got country 
visitors by the hundreds, who came up to worship at the great 
festival of the year. For some five or six days the street 
passing our door, which leads to the great temple, was a living 
stream from morning till night. One longed to do something 
in the way of a special effort for these poor people. But our 
hands were more than full inside. One day we shut the door 
so as to have a quiet Sunday, and on the evening of that day 
we went out with our banner and had a very good hearing. 

Such was the almost routine work within the city 
during those early months. And in the country it was 
much the same. What itinerating meant in those days 
may be described again by Montagu Beauchamp, who 
was a giant at this exacting toil. 

The work was hard, and yet it had to be done, and could 
best be done en garqon. Those were great and terrible journey- 
ings, not in the wilderness, but amongst crowds. There were 


nothing but inns to stay in, and we were quite commonly 
fifteen or twenty days on end without a Mission home or centre 
of rest. 

To get into these inns often needed extreme tact and 
diplomacy, but once in we were invariably good friends, and 
more than welcome next time. We had, in fact, to live down 
a bad name in almost every place. Yet I say emphatically 
those homeless times were helpful though it meant hardship ; 
it was like the experiences of the youngsters thrown into the 
sea and so taught to swim. . . . We were a most popular 
theatre (i Corinthians iv. 9, margin). Those crowds in the 
inns, which were such a trial, were, nevertheless, productive 
of blessing. One could, of course, speak to only the very few 
out of such crowds, but the mass of them went home with a 
tale to tell, and all they had to say would be believed implicitly, 
whether for weal or woe. ... Here again the best remedy was 
to mix freely with the people ; listening closely to all that was 
being said, commenting freely on what you heard, and even 
taking notice of the rumours in one's public street preaching. 

But all this toil and hardship were not in vain, for 
as early as April, 1888, William Cassels wrote : 

Notwithstanding our feebleness and often failure, which we 
deeply lament, our Father has given us continual and blessed 
encouragement in this place, and there are not a few men, and 
I may say women too, in whom there is an evident working of 
the Holy Spirit. But oh ! we want much greater things than 
any we have yet any trace of. And praise God, He is able and 
willing to do much greater things. If we are reaching with 
the glorious Gospel a certain number in Paoning how many 
there are utterly unreached. In this city of some forty thousand 
people, how many thousands are unreached as yet, and what 
shall we say of the masses in the cities, towns and villages 
around. . . . 

But having said this one feels that after all the great need 
is in ourselves, we are to be ensamples to the flock. We are 
to be the handers on of power and blessing. So, while stirring 
up God's people to pray for the outpouring of His Spirit upon 
the unconverted heathen and on the Chinese Christians, how 
much need there is to entreat them to pray for us, His mes- 
sengers and the bearers of the Bread of Life. 

Mr. Beauchamp will have himself written to tell you how 
blessedly the Lord has refreshed him lately. I am so thankful 
to have him here. Our dear brother is doing a splendid work, 


and I am sure he is being led of God in undertaking to work 
the large districts as he is doing. 

Mr. Hope-Gill arrived two days ago, very bright, and having 
had very good times, praise God. He has a very kind way of 
speaking to the Chinese, which I covet earnestly. He will 
return in a week to Pachow to prepare for Mr. and Mrs. 
Arthur [Polhill] Turner. 

We are so thankful to hear from Mr. Stevenson that three 
sisters are coming to reinforce us here. 


Mark you the floor ? that square and speckled stone, 
Which looks so firm and strong Is PATIENCE : 

And the other black and grave, wherewith each one 
Is checker'd all along HUMILITY : 

The gentle rising, which on either hand 
Leads to the quire above Is CONFIDENCE : 

But the sweet cement, which in one sure band 
Ties the whole frame, is LOVE And CHARITY. 


WITH the coming of the reinforcements mentioned in 
the last chapter the growth and development of the 
work may be said to begin. If this book were a history 
of the Diocese it would be necessary to narrate the 
opening and enlargement of each new centre, but being 
a biography the story must be told from the standpoint 
of the man. 

The work from its inception was nurtured by 
William Cassels as a true father in God. He was then 
the only one in Holy Orders, and was accepted as the 
natural leader. He welcomed the newcomers, and in 
co-operation with the Executive in Shanghai appointed 
them their posts. From the beginning it is easy to 
recognise the impress of his spirit and character. He 
was the organiser with marked gifts in that direction, 
but before organisation he put life and spiritual vitality. 
God's blessing to him was paramount, and his first 
desire was for the fruits of the Spirit both in himself 

and in his fellow- workers. He believed that the 



foundations or " Church Floor " to use George 
Herbert's quaint phrase could not be laid apart from 
Patience, Humility, Confidence, and Love, and all who 
knew him testify that in these graces he abounded. 

One supreme secret of his life was the place he gave 
to prayer. If Love was the " sweet cement " it was 
intercession and constant supplication that reinforced 
it. It has been said of Napoleon that " he was one of 
those builders who do not think it necessary to trouble 
about permanent foundations ". That was not so with 
Cassels. Already we have seen how a weekly day of 
prayer and fasting was initiated by him during his first 
flying visit to Paoning, and this became a permanent 
and effective institution. 

We always kept every Friday as a day of prayer and 
fasting [wrote Hope- Gill], whether we were together or as 
was more constantly the case whether we were alone living in 
inns waiting for the open door. 

I was especially struck [writes Mr. Horsburgh] with the 
prayer atmosphere pervading the home and the work. At 
the weekly day of fasting and prayer Cassels was in his element. 
The messages God gave us through him were always helpful 
and his prayers uplifting. He was indeed a man of prayer ; 
therein lay his strength. And he was strong, strong in the 

This spirit of prayer was perhaps the first feature 
deeply to impress itself upon all newcomers, and this 
helped to fashion their own attitude toward the work. 
His heart had been " kindled by God's fire " and, as 
St. Augustine says, " one loving spirit sets another 
spirit on fire ". 

The reinforcements mentioned above were the 
Misses B. Hanbury, F. M. Williams, and S. E. Bastone, 
for whom another house in a quiet residential street, 
about ten minutes' walk away, had been secured and 
prepared, and on the day of their arrival, July 3, 1888, 


they were welcomed some three or four miles outside 
the city by William Cassels. How they were impressed 
is shown by some words written by Miss Williams a 
few weeks later. 

I am so thankful for having been brought to this station. 
There is such an earnest, holy tone about the work. Mr. 
Cassels is one who lives very near to God, and he knows the 
power of prayer. Every Friday from 12.30 to 3 or 3.30 P.M. 1 
we gathered for a time of waiting upon God, specially for the 
province of Szechwan, and for all the workers and Chinese 
Christians. It is a blessed and helpful time and such a 
privilege to bring every detail of the work to God in this way, 
and He does answer " exceeding abundantly ". 

This example in prayer was followed elsewhere as 
the work grew and developed. One testimony must 
suffice. The Rev. A. E. Evans writes : 

I remember very vividly the live, infectious spirit of prayer 
which prevailed at Paoning in those days. The Wednesday 
morning meeting, when to secure quiet the compound doors 
were closed, was always a time of simple yet bold pleading for 
spiritual quickening and definite results. I am sure all of us 
who enjoyed those seasons of fasting and prayer learnt to 
value and practise the example in our own separate stations, 
when the wide development of the work made it impracticable 
to meet together in one centre. " All things by prayer " was 
certainly one of our leader's mottoes. 

Thus did this wise master-builder seek to lay the 
foundations. He believed, to quote his own words, 
that " we must advance upon our knees ". It was not 
surprising, therefore, that some few years later Hudson 
Taylor should write, " Mr. Cassels' department is 
surpassed by nothing in the Mission for spirituality or 

success ". 

But though he believed in the secret of the closed 

1 The day was subsequently changed to Wednesday to bring it into 
harmony with the China Inland Mission Prayer Cycle. In this way they 
had fellowship with thousands in many lands praying for the same objects. 
Particulars of this Prayer Cycle will gladly be supplied at any of the Mission's 


door for communion with God, he also believed in the 
open heart toward all the world. It is somewhat 
astonishing, for instance, to find him within less than 
a year of arrival seeking to educate the little company 
of new converts in the work of God in other lands. 
To this end he began a course of lectures on missionary 
work in New Zealand, Sierra Leone, and Uganda, etc., 
all the while seeking to build up these young Christians 
in the essentials of the Gospel. Breadth and depth 
with him were not incompatibles. 

Some idea of the routine work of the station may 
be gathered from one of his letters : 

On the river above PAONING, 
October 2yd, 1888. 

Our daily plan of work is this. At 7 A.M. we have family 
prayers (Chinese), then after breakfast at 7.30 our own time of 
prayer, etc. Then we have a meeting with the opium patients 
and outsiders, when we explain the more elementary truths of 
the Gospel. Then there is medicine to be given to the patients, 
and sometimes to other sick folk, and guests to be received. 

At dusk we always have a united meeting when some thirty 
or forty assemble, including many inquirers. On Tuesdays 
there are some accounts of work elsewhere, on Thursdays an 
Old Testament reading, and on Fridays a meeting for Christians 
only. Besides this there are the Sunday services, and on the 
ist and 1 5th of each Chinese month we have a special early 
prayer meeting to plead for those who are then bowing before 
their idols. 

Sundays were full days, beginning with an English 
service at 7.30 A.M., followed by two public services 
for the Chinese, then by classes, Sunday Schools, and 
other forms of activity. But his keen evangelistic zeal 
early found expression in special efforts. In August, 
1888, he wrote : 

The past week has been a time of very special blessing here 
in Paoning. The evening meetings were unusually well attended 
by our inquirers, and the Lord gave us tokens of His presence. 


Every night we had what I may call after-meetings, when we 
especially dealt with the candidates for baptism. During the 
early part of the week these were largely occupied with teaching, 
but as the enthusiasm increased the claims of the Master to 
full and immediate submission to Him were more and more 
strongly pressed. All through, salvation in its fulness was our 
theme, and having to do with inquirers there was no need to 
stop to say who God was, what the Bible was, and so on. 

On Sunday three of the inquirers were baptised : viz., Li, 
the son of one of our Chinese teachers ; Wen, an old man who 
has been attending all the year, and who keeps a little hat-shop ; 
and Li, a shoemaker, who gives promise of making a very 
warm-hearted servant of the Lord. The rest are put off for 
a week or two. 

Or writing again at the close of September he gives 
us another glimpse : 

I have a dozen opium patients, who take a great deal of 
looking after during the day, and sometimes during the night 

We have been having large audiences at our daily evening 
meetings ; the Lord has stood by me ; Christ has been lifted 
up as the only One who can supply the present and eternal 
needs of men. 

Praise God that our work is going ahead, and every month 
shows real progress. On Sundays our biggest room, which 
we use as a chapel, is packed, and people sit outside. I am 
considering what is to be done for them. We may manage 
during the winter. I trust the room will be quite insufficient 
next summer ; and we must be getting ready for the showers 
of blessing. 

We have a good number of inquirers, some of whom promise 
very well. All this gives me great cause for thankfulness ; 
but I long to be out more amongst the outsiders, and wish the 
way were open for more street-preaching. 

What masses there are around us, lying in darkness and in 
the shadow of death ! Oh for a band of Christians all on fire, 
who would go forth to win them for God. 

Country work, too, was prosecuted with ardour by 
all the workers, and what this meant at times is shown 
by the following quotation from one of Mrs. Cassels' 
letters written not long after she had recovered from 
an illness : 


Mrs. Chen and I started for her home. We had a chair 
ride of about five miles along pretty country lanes ; then we 
arrived at the river, which looked very lovely in the morning 
sunshine. We crossed in a ferryboat, and were carried in our 
chairs a few It further to the village of Chen-kia-pa. The 
family in which we are staying are very much interested in the 
Gospel. . . . 

My husband rode over again this morning before breakfast, 
and after prayers was about to return, but such a nice number 
of men had gathered in the court to see him that he sat down 
and preached to them. The Biblewoman and I went to visit 
a court at the other end of the village, leaving him still preach- 
ing. Several women came from there yesterday and begged 
us to visit them to-day. Such a large number of families live 
in and around the court. . . . 

After short evening prayers Mrs. Chen and I had retired to 
rest, and I had just got into a nice sleep, when I was awakened 
by a great noise at the large doors ; a mob had gathered, led 
by the man who had gone round in the morning, and were 
banging the door and threatening with loud voices that they 
would kill the foreigner. All the household got up in great 
alarm and came to my door, begging us to get up quickly and 
dress. They wanted me to go and hide in one of the rooms 
on the other side of the court. The noise grew louder outside 
and the poor Chens got very much alarmed for my safety. 
My woman was soon dressed, but I did not get up, feeling 
sure that the Lord would protect me, and not allow the mob 
to get in. Though suffering from palpitation of the heart and 
oppressed by a heavy cold, I was very happy and did not feel 
in the least afraid, for the Lord kept me in perfect peace. 

How Cassels was affected by such opposition the 
following brief reference in one of his letters makes 
clear : 

We hope to return to Chen-kia-pa all the sooner on account 
of the little diversion of some of the people there, or rather 
the annoyance shown by the devil at the good hearing given to 
the Gospel. 

Pachow, a small but busy city four days' journey 
to the east of Paoning, had been recently opened, and 
a temporary foothold had been secured at Wanhsien, 
one of the most populous and important cities on the 


Yangtze. Converts also had been baptised both at 
Paoning and Pachow. 

How the work of God was prospering in this newly 
opened area is shown by a brief survey written by 
William Cassels in July, 1888. 

Look back and see if there is not reason for praise. But 
little over a year ago we were pleading with the Lord, amidst 
not a few disappointments and trials of faith, that He would 
give us a foothold in this district by enabling us to get a house 
from which to begin operations. In answer, the Lord has done 
" exceeding abundantly ", and given us altogether four houses. 

But little over a year since only one missionary was in 
residence in this district. Now we number eleven. 

Go back less than a year, and how little knowledge of the 
truth had been made known, how few people had heard of the 
Saviour ! Now, how different ! As to the city : men and 
women have flocked into our guest-rooms, and crowds have 
listened to our preaching. All day long, one may also say, 
without an hour's intermission, the preaching has been going on. 
The streets are placarded with tracts, and Gospel books are in 
the hands of a very large number of the people ; a wide know- 
ledge of the truth is being spread abroad, and there is, as it is 
sometimes put, material for the Holy Spirit to work upon. 

As to the country around, through the efforts of my dear 
brother Beauchamp, some very substantial work has been 
done, a large number of market towns and two walled cities 
have been visited, and seed sown which must bring forth fruit. 

Go back six months, and not one soul had been won from 
heathendom out of the millions of Eastern Szechwan. Now, 
thank God, including those not as yet baptised, the Christians 
number nearly a score ; and though, perhaps, they may be the 
weak things of this world, they are growing in grace, and I 
am looking up to our Father to make them " mighty to the 
pulling down of the strongholds of Satan ". He has begun a 
good work in them and will finish it. 

And from the very beginning Cassels sought to 
organise the Church with a view to its future independ- 
ence. In the survey just quoted he wrote : 

We have just lately set on foot a scheme for the distribution 
of the Church money, which will, I trust, stimulate the Chris- 
tians to continue giving. In the first place they are sending 


out one of their number a woman who has shown great 
aptitude for preaching and has no home ties into the villages, 
to go into the houses and tell the women the Gospel message 
which has been the saving of her own soul. Further, they 
have had a number of tracts printed for their own distribution, 
and besides this, they are starting a plan for helping the poor, 
which will, I trust, be useful and wise. 

Thus, then, I think, without going any further, our praying 
friends will see that the Lord has not forgotten to be gracious, 
and will be encouraged to go on looking for much greater 

How deep was his desire for a strong and vigorous 
Chinese Church the following words part of the same 
survey show : 

I feel more and more that, next to obeying the Master's 
command to pray that labourers may be thrust out into the 
harvest fields, the important thing to bring before the Lord 
unceasingly is that the converts from heathenism may be kept, 
and built up and filled with the Holy Ghost. Our Lord's 
own great prayer in John xvii., and the example of the Apostle 
St. Paul in all his Epistles, will surely amply justify this state- 
ment. So one does long that the Lord would raise up many 
Annas and others who would continue in supplications and 
prayers night and day, pleading with God to sustain and 
strengthen those lately snatched from heathendom, and who 
are the objects of the devil's greatest malice. Then will these 
little dots of light all over China become great fires, and then 
will the Gospel be carried with power all over the country. 

But all this progress was not secured without hard 
work and heavy trial. At Wanhsien, for instance, the 
man who had let the house to Mr. Phelps was beaten 
a thousand blows. Another man, the landlord of a 
shop which had been rented for a street chapel, received 
eight hundred blows, while a third man, a teacher, over 
two hundred strokes. Further, one or two new con- 
verts had been strangely tried by calamity or death 
within the family, almost immediately after baptism. 

What a trial of faith ! [wrote William Cassels]. On the 
one hand one sees a Loving Father testing the faith of his 


newly declared child ; on the other hand, the malice of the 
evil one trying to overthrow the faith of this man newly escaped 
out of his net. One is reminded of similar things that happened 
not infrequently in Shansi. 

How strenuously Cassels laboured and how sorely 
he was tried personally, the following brief extracts 
from several letters of this period reveal : 

May i6tk, 1888. 

Dear Horsburgh arrived on the I2th inst., having walked 
all the way from Wanhsien without a servant and with bad 
coolies. The day after his arrival he was in a high fever as a 
result of the sun catching him on the road. 

I would not send you such a shabby letter, but that I am 
nursing my dear wife. ... As regards medical treatment, we 
are quite at our wits end, but the Lord is our Refuge. 

September qth, 1888. 

This evening I have begun a course of talks with the Chinese 
on the progress of the Gospel in other lands. I began with 
the marvellous transformation in New Zealand. 

September $th, 1888. 

The Lord in His mercy has brought my dear wife through 
her attack of peritonitis. Miss Hanbury's unceasing kindness 
and devotion have been the saving of her. 

September 30$, 1888. 

I have been trying to write to you for some days, but I 
have been pressed by work, so I am going to sit up to-night 
after everybody has gone to bed, and the work of the day is 
over, to get a little time of quiet. 

I have a dozen opium patients, who take a great deal of 
looking after at all times of the day and sometimes during the 
night too ; the work really requires one man's whole time. 

Just now there is a little manifestation of strong feeling 
against us on the street, which I trust the Lord will use for 
His own glory. We have been having large attendances at 
our daily evening meetings, and sometimes the Lord has given 
me remarkable help in speaking. 


On Sundays our biggest room, which we use as a chapel, is 
packed, and people sit outside. To-day there were over sixty 

My dear wife is almost a constant invalid and needs a good 
deal of looking after, and the frequent advent of friends for 
marriage or for business takes up a good deal of time and 
gives me extra household matters to attend to. Praise the 
Lord, notwithstanding this the work was never brighter than 
it is to-day. 

But Mrs. Cassels' state of health was so serious it 
became necessary to take a brief holiday, so rest and 
change of work were combined. 

October itfh, 1888. 

I am busy and feel I want a few days' rest. I took my 
poor wife, who remains upon her back, on the river for two 
days, but it was not long enough to do either of us much good. 

On the river above PAONING, 
October 2yd, 1888. 

My dear wife continued so poorly and was unable to regain 
strength that after seeking for guidance I determined to hire 
a boat for ten days and take her on the river. I became 
somewhat reconciled to the idea of the absence from work 
that this would entail when the friends pointed out that it 
would take less time and money than a journey to England. 
I felt, too, that it would be an opportunity of reaching some 
places on the river bank which have scarcely yet been touched. 


How great is our Father's goodness to us ! We do thank 
Him for allowing us to get this nice change, a comfortable 
boat, the lovely hills, improved health, all speak of His good- 
ness, and if this three months' illness of my wife has been the 
greatest trial of my life, how blessed that He has promised, 
" When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee, 
and through the rivers they shall not overflow thee ". 

I do want to get girded up with strength for our winter's 
work, and trust that before the Chinese New Year many souls 
may be brought in and many true witnesses for Jesus raised up. 


November 6th, 1888. 

The news that Arthur Polhill had been unwell determined 
us to hasten our start. ... So having got back from the river 
on Friday, October 26th, we started the following Monday 
and reached Pachow in five days. Notwithstanding some delay 
through rain the journey was most happily accomplished. My 
dear wife gathered strength from day to day. I was able to 
do some work each day along the road, and found willing and 
interested listeners. 

The Pachow people are very friendly. I had opportunities 
of preaching in the Guest Hall and on the street. 

We are crying earnestly for workers, there are doors open 
all round, and none to enter them, and none even preparing 
to come out from home. The Lord send us His own in His 
own right time. Horsburgh has gone north-west to explore. 

It is comparatively easy to-day to tell this story of 
past years and note the progress made, but it is another 
thing adequately to realise the plod, the patience, the 
pertinacity demanded day in and day out. Grace 
abounding was needed not to be discouraged by 
constant difficulties, nor dismayed by incessant trials, 
to be for ever hopeful, ever cheerful, ever confident, 
come what may. George Herbert was surely right 
when he pictures the Church floor laid with Patience, 
Humility, Confidence, and Love. 

In these graces Cassels was doubtless helped by the 
quiet prayerful fellowship of the Rev. J. H. Horsburgh, 
whom we have already seen as a visitor among this 
little community. But why was he there ? and what 
were his aspirations? for the Church Missionary 
Society to which he belonged had no work in Western 
China. He was, however, filled with ardent longings 
for those great unreached and unevangelised regions. 

But that is another story which must be reserved 
for a later chapter. 


Jesu Son of the Virgin pure 

Be Thou my pilgrim staff throughout the lands, 

Throughout the lands, 

Thy love in all my thoughts Thy likeness in my face, 
May I heartwarm to others, and they heartwarm to me, 
For love of the love of Thee, 
For love of the love of Thee. 

Old Gaelic Rune. 

THE preceding chapter has given us a glimpse of 
William Cassels as a man of prayer laying foundations. 
He believed, and rightly, that the hidden man of the 
heart was of fundamental importance to the work, but 
though profoundly spiritual he was sturdily practical. 
With all his vision he was no visionary, for his devotion 
was wedded to a robust common-sense. Full of 
fervour, he was also full of sturdy practicality. 

From the first he sought to gain a detailed know- 
ledge of the district for which he and his fellow-workers 
were responsible. As he itinerated he took notes of 
local conditions, made observations on the various cities 
and on the character of their peoples. He was also a 
keen though generous observer of men, giving careful 
consideration to their capacity, qualifications, and 
limitations in order that work and workers might be 
rightly related. All this is revealed in his corres- 
pondence with the Mission's Executive. He had the 
eyes to see and the mind to plan. These gifts doubt- 
less developed with years, but they are obvious at the 
beginning, sometimes in startling fashion. 

Within a week of Christmas, 1888, he wrote : 



From news which reaches us a good many reinforcements 
ought to be on the way. Mr. and Mrs. Williams, we hear, 
were to have started in November, and we hear that a Miss 
Barclay, known to Miss Hanbury, was to accompany them. 
From my own parish there are also Miss Fanny Culverwell, 
John Hayward and his intended, Miss Martin. . . . Probably, 
too, there are others whom we have not heard of coming out, 
as the Lord is wont to do more than we expect. 

I am beginning, therefore, to think that you will be wanting 
us to make room for more workers. I suppose, at any rate, 
we are certain to have some more ladies here, so it is in my 
mind to revive the idea of which I have written to you before, 
and open Tsangki as a place for ladies' work. 

Tsangki is a small hsien city sixty li north of Paomng, not 
on the main road to Kwangyuan and Hanchung, but on the 
Paoning river. It would seem a suitable place for several 
reasons for ladies' work. 

1 . Easy of access by water as well as by land from here. 

2. Not too busy or too big a place. A good many retired 

people live there. 

3. I hear of a good many vegetarian women there a class 

often easily won and zealous in spreading the truth. 

I am proposing to pay the place a visit with Mrs. Cassels 
and have a good look round. ... 

As for Shunking, I think you will feel that a big place like 
that will need brethren's work. May the Lord soon send 
brethren to us too. 

Early in the New Year Cassels started out on a 
tour of inspection, which is briefly referred to in the 
following : 

PAONING, January ijth. I returned yesterday from eight 
days in the country. I started on Wednesday for Tsangki. 
On Thursday I visited a market thirty li from there. Friday 
I spent on the streets and in the tea-shops of Tsangki. I have 
one or two friends there, and I think a house could be got 
without difficulty. On Saturday morning early I rode thirty 
li to a market, and after half a day there, went on twenty li 
to the place where I was going to spend Sunday and preach. 
Both places are on the main road northward. 

Monday and Tuesday I spent at two places on the East 
River, at the entrance to a large and interesting district that I 
have long wanted to visit. No one has been up that way yet, 
and I hope to have an early opportunity of visiting some of 



the larger places that I was unable to reach this time. There 
must be nearly one thousand small one-man boats running up 
that river for coal, which is brought to Paoning and other cities 
to the south. 

How vast is the work, and how few and feeble are the 
labourers ! Just now the markets are very busy because the 
country people are buying for the new year. One felt so 
terribly powerless to arrest and impress them. How it made 
one cry to the Lord for power. I long for prayer that I may 
be endued with fresh strength, and it is a joy to think that my 
Jesus is pleading for me at God's side. 

A little later we find Mr. and Mrs. Cassels, with Miss 
F. M. Williams, staying for nearly a week at Nanpu, 
another city, this time in the south. A month later, in 
April, William Cassels is at Kwangyuan, an important 
centre four days north, seeking for and securing a 
house, and ere long Miss E. Culverwell and Miss L. 
Bastone commenced settled work there. Premises 
were also secured at Tsangki, though these had sub- 
sequently to be surrendered. 

Of his visit to Kwangyuan Cassels wrote : 

PAONING, May ist, 1889. On the aoth I reached Kwang- 
yuan, having had good times of the Lord's presence, and good 
opportunities for work all along the way. On Good Friday 
especially I had blessed communion with the Saviour Who has 
done so much for me. Oh, to satisfy His heart fully ! . . . 

As regards work, I do not think there is much fear of our 
stagnating in this centre (Paoning), for we are all far too keen 
to reach the regions beyond for that. The danger is rather 
that the city work may be neglected. For instance, I have a 
most inviting opening at a large market village half way to 
Kwangyuan, that is two stages from here, where I have had a 
number of pressing invitations to go and spend a month. . . . 

We hear that Mr. Horsburgh may be returning again to 
Szechwan at once. He mentions the district north-west of 
us as the one he feels drawn towards. We shall be very glad 
if he comes back. 

With cities opening and opportunities and responsi- 
bilities increasing, it was with peculiar joy that he 


welcomed, early in June 1889, the Rev. E. O. and Mrs. 
Williams with their three children, escorted by Miss 
S. E. Jones. Mr. Williams had been Vicar of St. 
Stephen's, Leeds, which living, though he was a father 
of a young family, he had relinquished to respond to 
the call to China. The coming of such a one experi- 
enced in Church government was to Cassels an im- 
mense relief, and a cause for deep thanksgiving. 

PAONING, June $th, 1889. The Williams party [he writes] 
have all arrived safe and well, praise God. We got the 
ladies and two children off on Monday, bringing them by 
a short cut of 25 li overland. The boat itself arrived yesterday 
with dear Mr. Williams. How bright and peaceful he is, so 
satisfied with everything. The little ones are drawing crowds 
of visitors, the Lord has kept them in splendid health. My 
wife is very glad to meet Miss Jones again. 

The interested and excited crowds who came to see 
these foreign children became almost unmanageable a 
few days later, when an idolatrous festival caused the 
country people to flock into the city. At one time it 
became necessary to close the gates, for already from 
eight hundred to one thousand people had found 
entrance into the courtyard. 

With Mr. and Mrs. Williams and Miss Jones in 
residence Mr. and Mrs. Cassels went away for a brief 
change to the hills, and here for the first time we come 
upon the name of Sintientsi, which place, both as a 
centre for country work and as a refuge from the 
summer heat, became a veritable Bethel. 

Sintientsi, or " the new inn ", as the name signifies, 
is a lonely hostel on the main north road about five 
miles from the nearest village. Standing on high 
ground among the hills it is a hill station easily acces- 
sible from Paoning, which is some forty miles away. 
The landlord was an inveterate opium smoker, who 
eventually sold the premises to the Mission, and though 


he made several efforts to break off his evil habit and 
professed interest in the Gospel, he died some ten 
years later from drugs and disease. 

PAONING; July %th, 1889. I have before mentioned Yun- 
lin-pu [writes Cassels], a place 180 li from here, half way 
to Kwangyuan. I promised that if they would find a place I 
would try and find time, so I set off on June iyth and found 
that the temple they had arranged for was entirely unsuitable, 
so nothing else offering just there I retraced my steps to a 
place I had heard of and myself seen once or twice before. It 
is a large wayside inn 130 li from here (named Sintientsi). 
Being built in an unfortunate position for travellers no one 
stops here, and the place is almost empty and desolate. There 
I found I could get several rooms in the best part of a nice 
courtyard for five thousand cash a month. The arrangement 
was completed early on the morning of the iQth, and the same 
night I got back to the Fu. Early on the aist I left again 
with my wife, and by noon on the 22nd we were comfortably 
settled in our country abode. 

The devil seeks to withstand every step of our onward 
march. He did not like us taking possession of this country 
place, which is called Sintientsi the new inn and the local 
Pao-chen made a great noise, until the Lord enabled me to 
win him over. There has been serious opposition at Kwang- 
yuan too. 

On Sunday, July 21, shortly after the return of 
Mr. and Mrs. Cassels from Sintientsi to Paoning, their 
first child, Jessie Ida, was born. What joy and glad- 
ness this good gift from God meant to them in this 
far-away station can only in part be understood by 
parents at home. " Blessed be childhood ", wrote 
Amiel, " which brings down something of Heaven 
into the midst of our rough earthliness. All the good 
and wholesome feeling which is entwined with child- 
hood and the cradle is one of the secrets of a provi- 
dentially governed world." And this home among 
the heathen became more lovely by the prattle of a 
little child. 


The Chinese, who regarded Mr. and Mrs. Williams 
as particularly blessed because their children were sons, 
were disappointed that Mr. and Mrs. Cassels' child 
should be a daughter ! This, however, only made 
the welcome accorded this little girl a more powerful 
object lesson of what Christ had done for human life. 
" They cannot understand why we all love a little girl 
so much", wrote Miss Williams, and as every babe, 
especially since Bethlehem, has its message, so had little 
Jessie. The neighbours nocked with natural curiosity 
to see the sight, and fresh friendships were formed 
and prejudices removed, so that unconsciously the little 
one early began to open doors and hearts to the 
Gospel. 1 

Though Mrs. Cassels suffered severely from sun- 
stroke shortly after this, she and Mr. Cassels, with the 
babe, when only two months old, visited Kwangyuan. 
This was a trying journey, for as the rain set in they 
all arrived drenched to the skin, but mother and child 
suffered no harm, while their coming brought no little 
cheer to the two brave sisters who were holding the 
fort there alone, and again they proved the coming of 
the babe opened fresh hearts and homes to the 

It was just about this time that Cassels was much 
helped by the quiet testimony of a little Chinese child. 
There was an old man, a maker of cheap hats, who for 
some time had attended the services but without show- 
ing any evidence of special interest. He was, however, 
having daily prayer at home. Concerning this home 
and family, Cassels wrote : 

The other day and this is what cheered me one of our 
Christian women was there after dark ; it was getting late, and 

1 Jessie Ida Cassels, now Mrs. P. A. Bruce, who subsequently joined her 
father and the Mission in the work. 


his little child wanted to go to bed. " Father ", she said, 
" will you have prayers ? I want to go to bed." The old 
man replied that he was busy, and that she must go to bed 
without prayers. The little one persistently protested that she 
could not go to bed without prayers, and at last her father laid 
aside his work to satisfy her, remarking that she would not be 
pacified until they had worshipped. The little one said a 
verse of a hymn, and they all knelt while the old man prayed, 
then the child went to bed happy. 

This is to me like the blossoming of the first rose in the 
desert, and the beginning of the fulfilment of the promise. 
There is to be abundant blossom yet. The Lord send the 
showers down ! 

South of Kwangyuan is the city of Chaohwa, which 
Cassels visited seeking for another open door. In 
spite of difficulties a house was rented, but no sooner 
had he left than the official put the landlord in chains 
and cast him into prison. Thinking this had happened 
because there was no one in possession, Miss S. E. Jones 
volunteered to go. It was no easy task, for immedi- 
ately she reached the city the landlord's mother met 
her, calling upon heaven at the top of her voice for 
help in her distress. Stormy scenes followed, and 
Miss Jones called upon the official, who, with many 
professions of friendship and reflections on the bad 
manners of the people, advised her to stay in an inn 
and not insist upon possession of the house. The 
truth was hard to learn, but she found the people 
friendly, and courageously held on in spite of many 

I must say [she wrote to Mr. Cassels] that it has paid 
me well to go through this ; God has been so real, so near, 
so precious my God, my Father. It was peace, perfect peace, 
every step of the way. And this little upset from Satan and 
his devoted ones has only increased the peace and rest. These 
things do bring us into more sympathy with our Master. 

Concerning the situation at this time William 
Cassels wrote : 


PAONING, November 2jth, 1889. How thankful we ought 
to .be for such wide open doors, and that there is no hindrance 
to the freest preaching of the Gospel on the highways and 
byways, in tea-shops and markets. Hughesdon has been 
away for a couple of months itinerating in the Shunking 
district. Beauchamp has lately spent several days at Chien- 
chow, a town 80 miles to the north-west, and has now gone off 
again in the opposite direction, south-east. Gill has been 
working away in the Guest Hall here. The sisters at Kwang- 
yuan are daily on the streets and in the people's houses. Miss 
Jones has been receiving women in the inn at Chaohwa, and 
has had invitations to many homes. Miss Williams has had a 
nice class with our school-boys, and both she and my wife 
have women's classes here and in the country, and with Miss 
Hanbury find many open doors for work. At Pachow, too, 
our dear brother, Arthur Polhill, continues his unremitting 
efforts in preaching the Gospel. So you see it is utterly wrong 
to say that there are no open doors. The need is to see to it 
that we avail ourselves of all of them, and that we preach the 
Word with the Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven. . . . 

I feel so much that in the matter of Chaohwa there were 
two courses, the one was to retire at the first burst of opposi- 
tion ; everybody was against this. But I am not sure now 
whether it would not have been the better plan. We took the 
other course, and finding the people favourable, and only the 
magistrate hostile, determined to stick to the house. Well, we 
have done so, and the agreement remains locked up with my 
other papers, but what is the next step ? 

But though 1889 closed with trial at Chaohwa the 
new year, 1890, brought welcome reinforcements. 
These were the Misses P. and F. Barclay, F. Culver- 
well, and N. Martin, the last two from his former parish. 
There was also another old parishioner and lay reader, 
J. N. Hayward, who was appointed to Wanhsien. The 
coming of these friends both rejoiced his heart and 
inspired new ambitions. 


The fetters Thou imposest, O Lord, are wings of freedom. My 
strength is proportionate to the strength of those cords that bind me, 
I am never so unrestrained as when I am constrained by Thy love. 
Put round about my heart the cord of Thy captivating love and draw 
me whither in my light I would not go. Bind me to Thyself as 
Thou bindest the planets to the sun that it may become the very law 
of my nature to be led by Thee. GEORGE MATHESON. 

NOT only was Cassels an ardent pioneer, he was also 
a fervent lover of order. He believed in lengthening 
the cords and also in strengthening the stakes. This 
bent of mind must have been innate for it asserted 
itself from the beginning. It was not any ambition to 
rule, for he welcomed direction from others over him 
in the Lord. In view of the great responsibilities which 
ultimately devolved upon him, it is highly interesting 
to note his instinctive qualifications for government. 
He was by nature a builder, and as the builder of a 
new diocese he will be remembered. 

The Mission he had joined was by principle inter- 
denominational, but it is one thing to profess principles 
and another to embody them. At one time some 
doubted whether it were possible within the limits of 
such an interdenominational Mission to organise 
successfully a loyal Church of England section. Such 
doubts had been publicly expressed. Cassels proved 
it could be done, and this in itself was no small achieve- 
ment. He saw his objective and held a straight course 
to secure it. To do this demanded judgment, deter- 



mination, and tact. In this chapter we shall see him 
setting his helm and steering with steady courage 
between Scylla and Charybdis. 

As early as July 1889 we find him writing : 

I have for the last two years felt intensely the importance 
of walking closely in the paths of order and regulation expected 
by our Mission, and so essential for the welfare of our work. 
It was only a day or two ago that I was noticing in Deuteronomy 
xxxiii. 5 1 that the Lord is then specially our King when there 
is order and unity and proper authority. I believe it to be 
God's plan. 

May the Lord send us some more brethren soon. When 
in the comparatively small district (that is to say, just about 
the size of England without Wales) that we are attempting to 
work there is so much ground to cover, it is, of course, quite 
impossible for us to go two and two, so individual brethren 
have to go out alone, plunging alone into untouched districts, 
venturing alone into great heathen cities with all their dangers 
and temptations and masses of prejudiced and hardened and 
preoccupied idolaters, and hastily and alone paying the briefest 
visits to thronging markets crowded as they are here in Sze- 
chwan with seething masses of buyers and sellers nay, is that 
all ? Alas, no ! with seething masses of unwarned and un- 
washed souls, living sad and hopeless lives and passing away 
to sad and more hopeless deaths ! One knows that this going 
out alone is not our Master's Will and plan. Will you ask, 
dear Mr. Taylor, while you are at home, whether it is His 
people's will and plan, and if not, whether they are doing their 
best to remedy it ? For ourselves, have we any other course 
but to the utmost of our strength and time to go out obeying 
our marching orders, and whether with companions or without, 
preach the Gospel to all we can ? 

To him obedience to marching orders was funda- 
mental. And so were unity, order, and authority. 
These were essential parts of God's plan. With the 
free-lance, therefore, he had small sympathy. 

One or two quotations from his early letters will 
illustrate this. 

1 " And he was king in Jeshurun, when the heads of the people and the 
tribes of Israel were gathered together." 


July ^.th, 1889. I have been talking with on the sub- 
ject of your note, and stating my views that we ought to ask 
the Lord to guide those whom He has set over us, and then 
take it for granted that He does. 

July I2th, 1889. I do f ee l so mu ch that for the welfare of 
our work and the existence of the whole Mission, the prin- 
ciples of order and obedience to authority are most essential. 

April i6th, 1892. I have been waiting for instructions from 
Shanghai on two or three matters, and it goes a good deal 
against my sense of order to act without waiting for them, but 
I have not known what else to do. 

This unwillingness to act without instructions is 
manifest time and again in his early correspondence, 
and even after he had in 1890 been appointed by Mr. 
Hudson Taylor as Assistant Superintendent for his 
district, he was still reluctant to take action alone, as the 
above letter dated 1892 proves. 

One other quotation, though of a slightly later date, 
must be given to emphasise this trait in his character. 
During his absence from China on his first furlough he 
gathered from correspondence that some laxity was 
asserting itself within the district, in consequence of 
which he wrote to Mr. Stevenson at Shanghai as 
follows : 

BLACKHEATH, September i8th, 1894. I trust you will con- 
tinue to discourage all unauthorised movements. Self-govern- 
ment spreads like wildfire when it once begins and is terribly 
catching, and most injurious to the harmony of the whole work. 
Better to check it at once, even if it causes a temporary ex- 
plosion'. . . . 

Since writing the above I have seen some letters from 
Szechwan which give special point to my remarks. One of 
the letters says, " We have no Superintendent now, so we all 
do what is right in our own eyes ". The special move referred 
to may have been quite right, but the principle is horrible, and 
shows that some fail to understand that the Superintendent's 
work returns to you. 

But the most instructive part of Cassels' corre- 
spondence of those early years is that which reveals the 


steady determination and scrupulous care with which 
he sought to build up a work within the China Inland 
Mission loyal and consistent to Church of England 
principles. It is evident that Bishop G. E. Moule was 
at first doubtful as to the possibility of this being done, 
and this doubt perhaps led him to ask for a closer 
supervision than was normally demanded by a Bishop. 
As we only possess one side of this correspondence it 
is not possible fully to reconstruct the story, but a series 
of extracts from Cassels' letters will give a picture of 
the man with clear eye and steady hand steering the 
middle course between extremes, determined on the 
one hand that Bishop Moule should have no just cause 
of complaint, and on the other hand courteously re- 
minding the Mission Authorities at Shanghai, during 
Hudson Taylor's absence, that he was asking no more 
and no less than was in accordance with the Mission's 

In illustration of this we now propose to give, with 
a minimum of comment, extracts from a series of letters. 

CHENGTU, July 14^, 1887. Your kind letter of May 
enclosing one from Bishop Moule, just come to hand. I will 
write to the Bishop when I have had opportunity of praying 
over the matter, and the Lord will guide me as to what to say. 

The " power of the purse " is one which is held by no 
English Bishop. Questions of " living " and also of move- 
ments are in England only in a very small degree in the hand 
of the Bishop ; generally he has no say at all in the matter, as 
would be the case here. So the two-fold authority is almost 
always divided in England and does not lead to trouble. 

But I am not careful about the matter in the very least. It 
is in God's hands. I believe too much in the Scripturalness 
of the Church of England to leave it. But if the Bishop finds 
the difficulties too great I can look beyond him to a greater 
overruling Power. May God give us to walk in love towards 
one another. The greatest thing is to please Him and extend 
His Kingdom. The Lord give us to do this. 

YANGCHOW, October i8th, 1887. In conversation with you 
at Shanghai I suggested (i) that as Bishop Moule decided not 


to act through you, any stipulations that he proposed to make 
with you about the East Szechwan plan would naturally fall 
through. (2) And further, that I never heard of any Bishop 
requiring his clergy to submit to him for approval the names 
or qualifications of his parochial workers. And when the 
Bishop touched on the subject to me I told him that you were 
certain only to send to us those who were in full sympathy 
with our modes of work, or you would be doing your best to 
overthrow the plan you were yourself so desirous to see carried 

CHENGTU, April 30^/2, 1892. I write to report that I reached 
here on Wednesday, and that yesterday, Friday, Grainger and 
Miss Broman were married by me. 

It has been pleasant to meet Dr. Parry and the other workers 
here, and one's heart has been filled with joy as one looks back 
and contrasts the work in this province when I last came to this 
city a little over five years ago with what it is now. Then two 
stations, now a dozen. Then ten workers, now seventy or 
eighty of all Missions. Then twenty or thirty converts, now 
ten times that number all told, and reinforcements are, I hear, 
still coming. 

I am informed here that Mr. Marshall Broomhall is on his 
way to Paoning with some new workers, one of whom is said 
to be a Plymouth Brother. 1 How glad I shall be to welcome 
any fresh workers that are likely to be a blessing to poor 

Unless there is some special reason for it it is unlikely that 
a Plymouth Brother is designated for our district, especially as 
there are both Churchmen and Churchwomen who would 
gladly have come to work with us. 

Personally I would gladly welcome anyone who loves the 
Lord, and who is in harmony with the Mission, but it is not 
so comfortable for those whose prejudices are strong, and 
whose sympathies are not catholic, to come and work with us. 

There is, however, one aspect of this matter, which it may 
save trouble hereafter if I allude to now. When I was at Ningpo 
in the autumn Bishop Moule told me that it had been suggested 
that his representative at Shanghai should interview any workers 

1 The rumour was in part false. The writer had been sent by Mr. 
Hudson Taylor to Ichang to engage boats and assist Mr. Horsburgh's party 
in their journey west, and at the same time to escort Mr. and Mrs. Walter 
Taylor and son to Paoning, travelling up river in the rear of Mr. Horsburgh's 
party in case any of their boats should be shipwrecked. Mr. and Mrs. 
Walter Taylor were Church of England workers. The false rumour, 
however, called forth a highly instructive letter. 


designated for our field. Such an action seemed to me to be 
hardly necessary. A Bishop at home never exercises any con- 
trol or has anything to do with the choice of the lay workers 
in a parish unless they apply for any special lay licence, that 
matter rests solely with the Vicar of the parish. 

But since at the request and by the desire of the Authorities 
of our Mission he is kindly giving us time and trouble, the 
least that can be done to meet the Bishop's wishes is that only 
Churchmen and Churchwomen should be associated with the 
Clergy whom he has been asked to license and oversee Epis- 
copally, and, of course, that all ordained men, or those who 
intend to apply for any kind of licence, should have the inter- 
view, or if that is difficult, correspond with himself or his 
representative before being sent into the district. 

I have not suggested the formation of a Church district or 
even asked to be put into such a district, it was a carrying out 
of a principle of the Mission, and it was dear Mr. Taylor who 
very kindly suggested that I should come to such a district. 

Now the districts having been formed I know that you, dear 
Mr. Stevenson, are above all people anxious that it should be 
made a bona-fide thing, so I write these few letters to you 
feeling these matters will commend themselves to you, or to 
whomsoever is at this time in charge in Shanghai. 

PAONING, July i$th, 1892. The information given me at 
Chengtu was incorrect. I was told that Broomhall was escort- 
ing brother to Paoning, and our friends there knew him 

as a Plymouth Brother, and asked how it was. This led to 
my letter, and gave a convenient opportunity for referring to 
my conversation with Bishop Moule, of which I had already 
told Mr. Hudson Taylor. 

The matter of reinforcements I have always gladly pre- 
ferred to leave wholly in the Lord's hands, and unless there 
has been special leading have refused to hinder his direct 
working, so much so that in one or two cases I have preferred 
to let Church people be sent elsewhere rather than interfere 
by asking for them. Should there not be some very special 
leading to cause any but Church people being sent to this 
district ? 

December ^oth, 1892. I am thankful to hear from you of 
the reinforcements. I shall be glad to have them all, and I 
shall heartily welcome one and all. My only fear is that 
Bishop Moule will feel we are not quite keeping faith with 
him, and I do not quite know how to explain the matter to 
him. He is now asking the Church Missionary Society to 
relieve him of all responsibility connected with Horsburgh's 


party, owing to Horsburgh's disregard for Church principles, 1 
etc., and I should grieve very much if he lost confidence in us. 

It is very kind of you, dear Mr. Stevenson, to express 
confidence in any arrangements which devolve on me here. 
But I am always most thankful to feel that I am a man under 
authority, and I would not lightly give up the strength and 
support which it is to have someone over me in the Lord in 
all matters. 

I was noticing on one page of my Bible the other day : 

Submission in the State, i Peter ii. 13, etc. 
Submission in the Household, i Peter ii. 18, etc. 
Submission in the Family, i Peter iii. i. 
Submission in the Church, i Peter v. 5, see w. i to 4. 

and this is enforced by the " pattern of the Heavenly ", the 
angels being subject to Christ (ch. iii. 22) without going to 
other passages which speak of Christ being subject to God, 
etc., etc. 

These observations on Scripture are a revelation of 
the man's mind, for people are only impressed by that 
which interests them. The artist sees beauty, the 
musician hears melody, and the scientist observes laws 
that others do not note. With Cassels his eyes and 
other faculties were open for light on principles of 

In order to study this aspect of our subject we have 
advanced ahead of our narrative. But the motives 
which move a man are more important and more 
illuminating for the understanding of character than 
the man's actual movements. We must now, however, 
pick up the threads of our story, and the first in 
importance relates to the coming of workers connected 
with the Church Missionary Society to West China 
under the guidance of the Rev. J. H. Horsburgh. 

1 Mr. Horsburgh, under date of December 10, 1925, writes : " When 
Mr. Cassels returned to Szechwan as Bishop I found his Church of England 
views were strengthening, whereas mine, as regards work in China, already 
at a low ebb, were fading away ! But this never interfered with our 
brotherly love." 


So with the Lord : He takes and He refuses, 
Finds Him ambassadors whom men deny, 

Wise ones nor mighty for His saints He chooses, 
No, such as John or Gideon or I. 

F. W. H. MYERS. 

FOR long years the work of the Church Missionary 
Society in China had been confined to three coast 
provinces, with additional stations at Shanghai and 
Hongkong. But in the spring of 1888 the Rev. J. 
Heywood Horsburgh, having obtained permission from 
his Society, visited Szechwan, travelling west with 
Arthur Polhill-Turner and Albert Phelps, who were 
returning to their posts after ordination at Ningpo by 
Bishop Moule. To Mr. Horsburgh's arrival at Pao- 
ning suffering from sunstroke reference has already been 
made. The story of this visit west was described by 
Mr. Horsburgh in such graphic letters that the greatest 
interest was awakened at home. " Rarely, if ever," 
wrote Dr. Eugene Stock, " have we received so many 
letters about a missionary narrative." The needs of 
the new field, the possibilities and promises of a fresh 
venture of faith, were set forth with such persuasive 
earnestness that when in 1890, during his furlough, 
Mr. Horsburgh urged the Church Missionary Society 
to undertake a new Mission to Szechwan on lines of 
unusual simplicity, he obtained his Society's qualified 
approval after long and careful consideration on their 



part. Thereupon he issued an appeal, the first two 
paragraphs of which were as follows : 

The Committee of the Church Missionary Society have 
sanctioned a scheme under which a little band of missionaries 
will, God willing, go to the province of Szechwan. This 
province alone has a population of probably thirty-five millions, 
and has an area more than three times the size of England. 
The little handful of missionaries (chiefly China Inland Mission) 
who are working so faithfully there have long been praying 
that God will send others into the vast needy districts of that 
province, which they are quite unable to touch. Szechwan is 
a healthy province, and the people are, of course, quite as 
intelligent and civilised as they are near the coast. 

We hope to work on simple Native lines, as do the China 
Inland Mission. We shall have no foreign buildings, nor big 
institutions of any kind, but live in Native houses, wear the 
Native dress, conform as far as may be to Native customs, and 
eat (those who will) the wholesome Native food. We shall be 
emphatically an evangelistic and itinerant Mission. 

In the course of this appeal Mr. Horsburgh intro- 
duced, in answer to some supposed objections, that now 
familiar phrase " Do not Say " x and then closed his 
article with these moving words : 

The world is dying " without God ". And we might go to 
them. We might, but we don't ! Oh, why are we not heart- 
broken ? Why are we not on our faces before God ! Why do 
not these things move us ? Why do we not do something ? 
My brothers and sisters, what will you do ? Will you not do 
something ? Will you go and settle this with God ? 

Concerning this appeal the Church Missionary 
Society, which published it in their official organ, 
appended the following comment : 

It will be seen at once that Mr. Horsburgh's plan is for a 
purely evangelistic and itinerant mission, entirely " on simple 

1 Mr. Horsburgh's booklet published at this time under the title of " Do 
Not Say ", " has perhaps ", to quote Dr. Eugene Stock, " been used of God 
to touch more hearts and to send more men and women into the Mission 
Field both from England and from the Colonies than any modern 


Native lines ". In so far as this plan has been proved to be 
a good one, let us not for a moment forget that the example 
has been nobly set by the China Inland Mission : and let us 
humbly thank God for teaching us lessons through another 
Society. Perhaps we of the Church Missionary Society have 
been too ready to worship our own drag and net, and imagine 
ourselves perfect. At the same time, Mr. Horsburgh's methods 
are not entirely those of the China Inland Mission. He is, in 
fact, far more revolutionary. He will employ no Native agents ; 
the China Inland Mission, like all other Missions, does employ 
them. He will have " no foreign buildings nor big institu- 
tions " ; the China Inland Mission has one of the finest houses 
in the foreign settlement at Shanghai (as it deserves to have, 
and indeed is obliged to have), and its English School at 
Chefoo is in every sense a great institution. He says that two 
missionaries may, " in ordinary circumstances ", live on .50 
a year ; the China Inland Mission does not say so, and its 
most devoted members find that with all economy they need 
more. Now the Church Missionary Society Committee have 
felt that God was calling on them to give Mr. Horsburgh full 
liberty to try his own plans, in his own way, and with helpers 
of the same mind. But they are not going to call on other 
brethren to work on the same lines. . . . 

We do not say all this from any lack of sympathy with our 
dear brother and his plans. On the contrary, we rejoice that 
he is to make his interesting experiment in his own way. . . . 

The latter part of Mr. Horsburgh's appeal is most forcible, 
and we wish it could be circulated everywhere. May God 
write its fervid words on many hearts. 

In response to this appeal a band of volunteers 
speedily offered themselves, and in the autumn of 1891 
they set forth for China. This party of fifteen con- 
sisted of the Rev. J. H. and Mrs. Horsburgh, with two 
children, the Rev. O. M. Jackson, seven laymen, four 
of whom were not enrolled as Church Missionary 
Society missionaries but were independently supported, 
and five single ladies. 1 Shanghai was reached in 

1 Rev. J. H. and Mrs. Horsburgh, Rev. O. M. Jackson, Messrs. D. A. 
Callum, E. B. Vardon, A. A.Phillips, W. L. Knipe, J. A. Hickman, Simmonds, 
J. G. Beach ; Misses E. D. Mertens, E. Garnett, Gertrude Wells, Alice 
Entwistle, and Rose Lloyd. 



December 1891, and Szechwan in the spring or early 
summer of the following year. 

The settlement of this party proved more difficult 
than had been anticipated, for shortly before their 
arrival in the west Messrs. Beauchamp and Parsons 
had been forcibly ejected from Shunking, and official 
opposition to foreign residence was in consequence 
stiffened generally. They were therefore obliged to 
scatter temporarily to China Inland Mission centres, 
and await an opening into their new territory, which 
lay to the west of the China Inland Mission sphere. 

A glimpse of Cassels preparing for the welcome of 
Mr. and Mrs. Horsburgh is given in the following 
extracts from one of Mrs. Cassels' letters : 

Just now we are away from home staying in the country at 
a house we have taken for resting and recruiting in the very 
hot weather. It is two thousand feet higher than Paoning 
and so much cooler. We are now getting it repaired and in 
order for Mr. and Mrs. Horsburgh and some of their party. 
I daresay you have heard of them. They are coming to live 
here for a time, as we can take them in. This is a nice large 
house, and quite in the country, a splendid place for study. 
We also hope to keep some rooms for the use of tired, weary 
workers from Paoning. And we hope each in turn will get a 
time up here. The house was in great need of repairs, so my 
husband had to come to see after it, and I accompanied him 
with little Jessie. It is a great treat to be alone together. We 
have very rarely lived alone for a week since our marriage, so 
this is a real honeymoon. 

The next twelve to eighteen months were by no 
means easy for these pioneers. Though the people 
were friendly, no new doors were opened to them, 
mainly because of official opposition. Extensive 
journeys, however, were made, especially by the men 
of the party, while some of the ladies endured the 
hardships of living for months in Chinese inns. 

But the year 1894 at length brought its reward, 


which year became known as " the year of openings ", 
for within little more than twelve months entrance into 
six walled cities was secured. In January Mr. and 
Mrs. Jackson occupied Chungpa, a few months later 
Mr. and Mrs. Callum and Miss Mertens entered 
Sintuhsien, at the end of May Mr. and Mrs. Phillips 
obtained a home in Mienchuhsien, in June Mr. and 
Mrs. Knipe gained entry into Mienchow, and some 
months later into Anhsien, while in January 1895 
Messrs. Hickman and Simmonds secured an opening 
in Shihchuan, a city among the mountains. 

Of those early days Mr. A. A. Phillips 1 wrote in 
the autumn of 1898 : 

On these journeys we took no native helpers, and we had 
to find out for ourselves very generally the customs obtaining 
in the inns, shops, markets, and everyday life of the people. 
This was about the best thing that could befall us. Although 
we sometimes paid expensively for experience, it became our 
own. It was a dreary prospect for the opening of Mission 
stations, especially after the rebuffs at Maochow and Kienchow 
in the spring and summer of 1893. But then, just when we 
were ready with a sufficient command of the language and 
general experience, just before the war with Japan, followed 
by the Chengtu riots, just in God's time, six cities were opened 
in succession in less than eighteen months. And these six 
stations, no more, no less, we hold to the present time. 

The district in which these cities were located was 
approximately as large as England south of York, and 
the stations mentioned may be said roughly to corres- 
pond geographically with Ventnor, London, Oxford, 
Cambridge, and Nottingham. On the west it touched 
the borders of Tibet, and on the east was contiguous 
with the China Inland Mission district. 

Though Cassels during those early years had no 
official responsibility toward this new venture, he 
rendered it invaluable help as a personal friend and 

1 Now the Rev. A. A. Phillips of Norwich. 


wise counsellor. Concerning those times Mr. Hors- 
burgh has recently written : 

Our Church Missionary Society West China Mission owes 
a great debt to the China Inland Mission, beginning at Shanghai 
and at all their stations up the river and at Chengtu, for in- 
valuable help and manifold kindnesses. And especially is it 
indebted to Messrs. Cassels and Beauchamp, for it is due to 
the encouragement, advice, and help given both from the very 
first and afterwards that the Mission in Szechwan came into 

The bond of love and mutual esteem which from 
the first was established between the workers of these 
two Missions was to be more closely cemented and 
officially recognised in days to come. 


I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and 
unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks 
out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not 
without dust and heat. MILTON. 

IN recalling Mr. Horsburgh's venture in which Cassels 
was so deeply and sympathetically interested, and with 
which he soon became officially related, we have ceased 
for a moment to follow the main stream of our story 
in order to trace the rise of another river with which 
it was to be united. It is therefore now necessary to 
retrace our steps a little lest some important landmarks 
be overlooked. 

During 1890 Mr. and Mrs. Cassels were absent 
from West China for nearly nine months, and of this 
period, when the regular correspondence with Shanghai 
ceased, little beyond the main outlines can now be 
recovered. At the end of March they, with little Jessie, 
left Paoning to attend the great Missionary Conference 
which met during May of that year at Shanghai. Much 
as we covet some knowledge of Cassels 5 impressions of 
those important gatherings, which cannot but have been 
of profound interest and value to him, unhappily no 
written record of his views has come to light. Without 
question he would enter heart and soul into the spirit 
of Mr. Hudson Taylor's Conference sermon, and into 
the Conference appeal for a thousand new workers. 

Few would echo more fervently those words : 



We make this appeal [the Conference wrote] on behalf 
of three hundred millions of unevangelised heathen ; we make 
it with the earnestness of our whole hearts, as men over- 
whelmed with the magnitude and responsibility of the work 
before us ; we make it with unwavering faith in the power of 
the risen Saviour to call men into His vineyard, and to open 
the hearts of those who are His stewards to send out and 
support them, and we shall not cease to cry mightily to Him 
that He will do this thing, and that our eyes may see it. 

We can imagine, too, the joy and thankfulness with 
which he would welcome at Shanghai the Rev. C. H. 
Parsons, first of Australasia's contingent to the China 
Inland Mission, and one who was to be his faithful and 
loyal colleague in Paoning until his (Cassels) death 
thirty-five years later. And not least among his rich 
experiences would be the personal fellowship with 
Hudson Taylor. Four years had elapsed since he had 
met him in Shansi, years full of problems and trials, 
which would enable him to profit more highly from the 
mature wisdom of the experienced Founder of the 
Mission. And Hudson Taylor, too, had learned some- 
thing of the gifts and graces of his young friend, and 
it was on this occasion that he appointed him Assistant 
Superintendent of the Mission's work in East Szechwan, 
an appointment which gave him a seat on the China 
Council of the Mission, which for three weeks after 
the Conference was closely engaged on important 
problems of organisation. All this was to him of real 
educational value, both for his own immediate sphere, 
and for a fuller knowledge of the general work of the 

By the time these meetings were over any immediate 
return to West China was impossible, for the Yangtze 
was in flood, as it always is in summer. Traffic up the 
rapids and through the gorges was perforce suspended. 
Mr. and Mrs. Cassels and Jessie, therefore, proceeded 


for some months to Anking, the Mission's Language 
School for men, where a period of helpful study was 
secured, while his ministrations of the Word proved of 
lasting value to the younger students. 

One little incident during this stay in Anking is 
worth recording, for though we call it little in relation 
to the evangelisation of China, it was by no means of 
small import to the father and mother concerned. It 
is one of those incidents which throws a brilliant side- 
light upon the trials of parenthood in the Mission field, 
of which comparatively little is heard. 

It is never an easy or light task to nurture a young 
child through the trying heat of a Central China 
summer, and to assist in this Mr. and Mrs. Cassels 
had, through their good friend, Miss Hanbury, ordered 
from England a supply of Allen & Hanbury's food 
for little Jessie. After months of waiting this had 
safely reached Shanghai, and was there entrusted to 
the care of a young worker who was going up river. 
The river steamers are notorious for thieves, and these 
found a ready prey in this most hapless of all travellers, 
whom they fleeced of everything, the infant's food 
included. No comment on such a loss is necessary for 
parents, and especially for any mother. But one needs 
to be months away from the sources of supply to fully 
appreciate it. 

Late in the autumn, when the waters of the river 
had fallen, Mr. and Mrs. Cassels returned to Shanghai 
in preparation for their journey west, and in order that 
they might be present at the ordination as Priests of 
Arthur Polhill and Albert Phelps, which took place in 
the cathedral on October 24. Three days later they 
started west, being joined at various centres by new 
workers who needed their escort, and a goodly party 
they made. In addition to Mr. and Mrs. Cassels, there 


were the Rev. C. H. Parsons, the Rev. A. Phelps, Miss 
Kolkenbeck, and Messrs. Evans, Grainger, Hardman, 
and Willett. 

In the course of the boat journey west Cassels 
wrote : 

I was never more conscious of my own insufficiency, but 
surely I must say I know the Master's mighty power better 
than ever, and have more reason than ever to be confident 
that He will not fail me nor forsake me. 

Our boat made slow progress from Ichang until past 
Kweichow, but two nights ago letters reached me showing 
that it was important that we should get on as quickly as 
possible, so we asked the Lord for a favourable breeze, and 
yesterday and to-day we have been flying along grandly before 
the wind He has sent us. ... Oh that it may be an anticipation 
of the spiritual breeze He is going to send us ! 

It has been the greatest cheer to me to receive such a 
number of kind and sympathetic letters from the various 
stations in my district. 

Again in 1891 Cassels was called to Shanghai for 
the Mission's Council Meetings, Mr. Taylor having 
returned from Australasia. This call came at a 
time of considerable perplexity and strain in China. 
Questions of far-reaching importance concerning the 
Mission's arrangements and organisation were under 
discussion, while the work in the whole of China was 
being threatened by a series of organised riots, especi- 
ally in the region of the Yangtze valley. At the river 
station Wusiieh, east of Hankow, a young Wesleyan 
missionary and a European Customs official had been 
killed, and many Mission premises, especially Roman 
Catholic, had been destroyed. What all this meant to 
Mr. and Mrs. Cassels, who were separated for two and 
a half months at this time, the following portion of 
one of her letters will suggest : 

SINTIENTSI, June i^.th, 1892. So many thanks for your kind 
letters written during the time the riots were going on in this 


land. The Lord kept us in perfect peace trusting in Him. 
Just after they began my dear husband was called to Shanghai 
to attend the annual Council Meetings of the China Inland 
Mission, which meant nearly three months' absence from home. 
It was hard to part with him just then, the more so as he had 
to pass right through the places where the riots had been and 
were still going on. But the Lord enabled us to commit each 
other to His keeping, and he went to do his duty in Shanghai, 
and little Jessie and I were left at home. 

" God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present help in time 
of trouble ", and He did keep me " quiet from fear of evil ". 

Every mail brought fresh news of the disturbances, and 
before long I had a letter from my husband written in an inn 
at Ichang, where he arrived some few days after the riot. He 
told of the heap of ruins that was all to be seen where once 
handsome houses stood, one in particular, belonging to a 
missionary with whom we had stayed, and from whom we had 
received much kindness on the way back from the Conference 
to Szechwan. 

The Lord is faithful, and He brought back my dear husband 
in peace and safety, after an absence of two months and a 

During the time the rioting was going on I went on to the 
street daily, visiting throughout the city. I often took my 
little Jessie with me (she is now nearly three years old), and 
the people were always very friendly, and often I had particu- 
larly good times. ... 

Reports of the riots were soon circulated, with all kinds of 
wild stories about the foreigners, but none of those who knew 
anything of us believed them. Others did, and talked to our 
Christians and enquirers of the kind of people they had joined 
themselves to 1 Really we were made out to be perfect mon- 
sters of wickedness by these stories, and I am not surprised 
that the Chinese who did not know us and believed these awful 
tales to be true, should think we were unfit to live. 

However, we mixed with the people as much as we possibly 
could, feeling it was the best way to disarm suspicion, and 
gradually we lived down the wild reports, and the people were 
soon as friendly as ever. We were able to help many who 
were sick by simple remedies, and this, too, had a good effect. 
During that time of which I have been writing the Lord gave 
us very special blessing, first ourselves, and then it flowed out 
to the Chinese, and we had quite a timefof revival. Early in 
this year we had fifteen baptisms at Paoning, and also some at 
Pachow and Kwangyuan, other stations in our districts. 


Among the incidents of this journey to Shanghai 
and back was the being wrecked in the gorges on the 
return journey, when he was escorting the Misses 
Hanbury and F. M. Williams, who had been to the 
coast for a needed change. Happily the wreck was 
not of a serious nature. Paoning was safely reached 
on the ist of December 1891. 

The year 1892 was a time of mingled trial and 
rejoicing. Among the causes for rejoicing was the 
coming of Mr. Horsburgh's party, of which some 
account has already been given. Another cause was a 
number of baptisms, and of those baptised reference 
must be made to two, Mr. Ku Ho-lin and Mr. Wang 

Ku Ho-lin was the grandson of the Mohammedan 
woman from whom the Mission premises at Paoning 
had been secured. At that time, 1887, he had been 
but a small lad who evidenced much curiosity some- 
times embarrassing about the foreigners and their 
belongings. Although of Mohammedan parents he 
soon joined the Mission School, and early became a 
youthful convert. Of fifteen converts received into 
the Church by baptism on the i6th of the first month 
of the Chinese year, Ku Ho-lin was one, and of that 
occasion Mrs. Cassels wrote : 

One of the scholars from our Boys' School was also baptised, 
named Ku Ho-lin, the grandson of our landlady, a Moham- 
medan. We praise God for His workings in this family. Ever 
since we came to Paoning to live this boy has been interested 
in the truth, and has been gradually growing in the knowledge 
of Jesus. Until within the last year his grandmother seemed 
untouched by the Gospel and inclined to oppose her grand- 
son's being baptised. Now, thank God, she is entirely changed, 
and it is very evident that the Holy Spirit is working in her 
heart. She comes regularly to the Sunday services and the 
enquirers' classes, and it was with her entire consent that the 
boy was baptised into the Christian Church. Of course, it 


means opposition and perhaps persecution from other Moham- 
medans and members of the family, but praise God that He 
has made them willing for it. The boy is so bright, and just 
now has taken up the work of starting a branch of the " Young 
People's Scripture Union " as a work for Jesus. 

Little did Mrs. Cassels or any other at that time 
realise what the future had in store for this lad, who 
subsequently became Archdeacon, and of whom more 
will be heard. 

The other candidate for baptism of whom we must 
speak was a very different character. His life story 
has been briefly told in a booklet written by Cassels 
himself, in which he speaks of him as " one of the most 
remarkable Christians connected with the little Paoning 
church ". An adopted son of the family Wang, he 
lived a wild and reckless life, being ultimately dismissed 
from his regiment for opium smoking, which was then 
a breach of military discipline. He returned to his home 
at Peh-miao-ch'ang (The Hundred Temples Market) 
and sought peace by every Buddhist and Confucian 
precept. After years of spiritual dissatisfaction with 
these and with Roman Catholic instruction also, he 
found his way to the newly opened Mission station at 
Paoning, coming out finally on the Lord's side at 
Christmas, 1891. 

Just before Christmas Cecil Polhill, who was seeking 
to open Sungpan as a base for Tibetan work, came to 
Paoning in quest of a Chinese companion. 

He mentioned the matter to me [wrote Cassels]. My 
difficulty was that it was contrary to our practice to employ 
our Christians or catechumens, if it could possibly be avoided, 
for the reason, so well understood in China, that the witness 
s>f Christians (especially in small and young Churches) who 
nave been taken into employ is so much less powerful than 
that of those who are entirely independent. I felt, however, 
that if our brother's prayer was of the Lord, He would find a 
way to answer it without causing any hurt to our little Church. 


So we prayed for guidance, and took no further step at that 

On Christmas Day the Holy Spirit was manifestly working 
in our midst, and the service, instead of closing as usual, took 
the form of a sort of consecration meeting at which our Chris- 
tians and catechumens were found ready to yield up to the 
Lord, out of love to Him, various things which might prove 
a hindrance to them. One, for instance, brought up his 
tobacco-pipe ; others resolved to give up their wine ; and so 
on. Witnessing this spirit with great joy, it occurred to me 
afterwards that possibly someone might offer to go with Mr. 
Polhill-Turner as a volunteer. 

A day or two afterwards our brother had an opportunity of 
addressing our people and of stating his needs. At the close 
of that service, in answer to a very guarded sort of appeal, 
Wang stood up and declared his readiness to go. 

Now, it had already occurred to us that Wang would be a 
very suitable man in many ways. He had been in the neigh- 
bourhood of Sungpan ; he could write and read well, and 
would thus be a help in drawing up a deed of rental ; he 
would not be above doing rough and menial work and acting 
as a servant on the road. But I felt it to be very important 
that he should not undertake this service lightly or with any 
misapprehension of its condition. So I pointed out in detail 
the hardships that would be incurred ; he would have to look 
after the horse, and carry the baggage, and was to receive only 
his food. 

Being still resolved to go, his offer was accepted, and he set 
off with Mr. Turner. 

At Sungpan a house was taken and Wang left in charge, 
whilst Mr. Turner went off into the Kansu province to fetch 
his wife and children. They returned in May, and for two or 
three months Wang remained helping in the work. 

After this, however, there ensued a period of drought, which 
was attributed to the foreigners, it being reported that Mr. 
Turner was seen to go outside the city gate and wave a brush 
across the sky, thus sweeping away the gathering clouds. 

At last on 29th July the threats of vengeance broke out into 
open violence so terrible that we can hardly bear to tell of it 
even in a passing word. A crowd, which had been gathering 
all the morning, rushed into the courtyard, and with murderous 
violence and terrible curses and cruel blows, our friends were 
all seized and bound, and dragged out into the street. And 
then, stripped and wounded, they were led outside the city 
gates, where the rabble, divided in mind, cried out : " Throw 


them into the river ", " Stone them ", " Tie them up in the 
sun till the rain comes ". 

But before any course of action was decided on a military 
official appeared, and with some difficulty persuaded the crowd 
to take the party up to the magistrate's residence for trial. 
Here they were kept for some hours in a small room, their 
arms still tightly bound, while the howling mob raged without. 

At length the magistrate called for Wang, along with the 
cook who was in attendance on the Turners, and assuring 
them that he could not otherwise disperse the crowd, required 
them to be punished to appease the mob. Uncomplainingly 
they assented, and were taken out and beaten in the usual 
way across the legs till the flesh was terribly raw, and then 
heavy wooden collars were placed upon their necks, and at last 
the crowd dispersed. 

When asked at the beginning of the magistrate's examina- 
tion who he was, Wang simply answered that he was a Christian, 
though if he had been fainthearted he might easily have dis- 
claimed being anything but an outsider, not having received 
baptism at that time. 

And when his master and mistress afterwards expressed 
their horror and indignation at his treatment, Wang only said, 
" Oh, it is nothing ; it was for JESUS' sake ". When the 
suffering missionaries had been escorted safely to a neighbouring 
Mission station, Wang returned to Paoning. 

I was immensely struck with his behaviour. There was no 
word of complaint against the magistrate who had beaten him 
so terribly ; on the contrary, he praised him, saying that he 
had done his best to allay the riot. There was no boasting 
spirit because he had suffered so nobly ; on the contrary, he 
never mentioned the matter, until, when I found out from my 
letters what had happened, I questioned him to get at the 
details. He said that his heart was full of peace as he stood 
upon the bank of the river, bound hand and foot, and expecting 
every moment to be thrown in. He had just one regret. He 
regretted that he had not yet confessed Christ in baptism, 
fearing that perhaps Christ would not confess him as His 
disciple. I assured him that he had passed through a baptism 
of fire. 

On 25th September 1892 he was duly admitted into the 
Church along with five others, one being the native teacher 
from whom he had first heard the Gospel. 

Some three months before this riot at Sungpan 
Messrs. Beauchamp and Parsons had been cast out of 


Shunking, as already mentioned in connection with 
the coming of Mr. Horsburgh's party. Some further 
details may here be added, for Cassels, though spared 
the final scene, was a sufferer in what preceded it. Of 
these happenings Mrs. Cassels wrote to a friend : 

We have only four stations as yet. Another we lately 
opened has just been taken from us by the hatred of the 
officials, and Mr. Beauchamp and Parsons were forcibly dragged 
from their house and through the streets out of the nearest 
gate by some military students hired for the purpose. They 
were prevented from entering the city again, being kept on a 
bridge until all their things were brought to them. These 
were put on a boat and the gentlemen were forced to follow 
them, after enduring all kinds of insults and indignities. Thus 
the officials got their way, and we lost our house at Shunking, 
a place we have prayed for for years, and longed to take posses- 
sion of in the Name of Jesus. The people are so nice, too, and 
so glad to listen to the Gospel. 

Many plans had been tried before this last one to get the 
friends to leave the house, but without success. When my 
husband was there about a week before the final turnout a 
number of men came in while he was out for a short time, and 
took off the roof of the house. But he quietly stuck to the 
house, much to their surprise, and slept for a few nights under 
an umbrella with a waterproof sheet over his bed, for the rain 
was coming down in torrents. 

He had to leave a few days after to go to Chengtu for a 
marriage, and so Mr. Beauchamp (and Mr. Parsons) came in 
for the final, and also only too successful plan of getting them 

Concerning these experiences Mr. Parsons, one of 
the sufferers, writes : 

In 1892, just before Mr. Beauchamp and I were turned out 
of Shunking, Mr. Cassels came down to help us, and we had 
a little fellowship in persecution together. Tiles were removed 
from the house, and the rain coming on we had rather a bad 
time. Messrs. Cassels and Beauchamp slept on a table and I 
under an umbrella. Mr. Cassels always did his best to inspire 
us with courage. 

Had it not been that William Cassels was due at 


Chengtu for a wedding he might have been with his 
companions in the trouble which followed. 
Writing from Paoning on April 21, he said : 

I started for Chengtu on Monday (i8th), but that night a 
message from Beauchamp intercepted me, telling me of their 
forcible ejection from Shunking dragged outside the city by 
a number of military scholars, hired for the purpose, and their 
furniture and other effects carried out by hired coolies and 
suggesting that I should return and marry him and Miss F. 
Barclay at once. 

I felt there was a great deal in favour of an immediate 
marriage : the uncertainty and protraction of it was hindering 
work, etc., so I returned on Tuesday (iQth) and they were 
married yesterday, and started off to spend some time at 
Sintientsi until the answer to the telegram re their going to 
Wanhsien arrives. 

With regard to Shunking, humanly speaking we have suffered 
a great reverse. But " when they cast thee down thou shalt 
say ' there is a lifting up ' ", and so we trust to the Lord to 
make it turn out rather for the furtherance of the Gospel. 

The people, even the military students, continued friendly 
to the end, but the magistrate stirred up the gentry, and they 
were able to influence a certain number of people. People 
were forbidden to come to us, or to sell to us, etc. 

We had no message from the official at all, all through, nor 
would he see us, and had to deal with a mob hounded on by 

I am starting again for Chengtu this morning, so you will 
excuse this hasty line. 

But riots and unrest were not the only trials Cassels 
experienced at this time. He was perhaps as much 
distressed by the loss of workers, some for needed 
furlough, some for important posts elsewhere, and 
some and this was to him the most painful of all 
by what appeared like looking back- after having put 
their hand to the plough. 

When busy at Sintientsi preparing for the coming 
of Mr. and Mrs. Horsburgh, Cassels wrote : 


May I point out that we feel that we need much sympathy in 
our losses. The Phelps have left us, the Polhills have left us, 
the Haywards are leaving, and it is now rumoured that the 
Beauchamps are to leave us. 

But soon a further request came from Shanghai for 
another worker. Mr. Hudson Taylor had already 
asked that Mr. Hayward be freed for the important 
work of the Treasurer's department, but now an 
experienced head was needed temporarily for the 
Women's Language School at Yangchow, and Mr. 
Stevenson wrote to Mr. Cassels asking if he would 
agree to Miss Hanbury being approached for this 
influential post. The general work of the Mission by 
which all benefited had to be carried on, and sacrifices 
to this end had to be made by any section of the work. 
None the less those who bore the burdens of local 
churches could hardly do other than regard such calls 
with a measure of jealousy. In reply to this new 
demand Cassels wrote : 

Re Miss Hanbury going to Yangchow. I am gladly cutting 
off my right hand in giving up Hayward, though for half a 
dozen years he has been preparing to come and work with me, 
and if it be for the good of the work I will equally joyfully cut 
off my left hand in Miss Hanbury, and give her up to you. 
The Lord will repay one hundred fold all given to Him. 

That our workers should be wanted to fill important posts 
is also a sign of confidence in us which a little soothes the sore 
of cutting them off from us. 

Here we too are crying for a revival, for the work has got 
into a slack state this last six months. We mean to go on till 
we get the showers by the grace of God. Hayward starts by 
boat on Tuesday, the igth inst. 

Consent having been obtained, a letter was for- 
warded to Miss Hanbury/ by favour of Cassels, asking 
her to undertake the work at Yangchow. In acknow- 
ledging the receipt of this communication Cassels wrote 
the following reply which, though couched in a 
humorous strain, was written out of a pained heart. 


Though Cassels was not lacking in a sense of humour 
he seldom indulged in it. Indeed, he took life so 
seriously and felt things so acutely that humour had 
small chance to raise its head, and the pleasantry of 
this letter was only an imperfect veil to hide his 
poignant feelings. 

Let me now thank you [he wrote] for yours of September 
22nd, enclosing one for Miss Hanbury. 

We Eastern Szechwan people are far too loyal to regard 
lightly such a call as that which, your letter contains, and so in 
obedience to your request I spent the morning " facilitating " 
the further dismemberment of my limbs, and now I believe it 
only remains to get the surgical operation completed in the 
specified time ! 

The sores are getting so bad that I fear nothing but a pro- 
fessional medical man will be able to cure them. Perhaps you 
could send say George Cox up by return to heal some of the 

Can I do any more little jobs in this way for you ? 

Not being satisfied with my limbs I hear that there are 
designs upon my life itself ! Where do they come from ? 

Beauchamp suggests that I am to be turned out and sent 
home, and he is kind enough to offer to take my place for me ! 
As if there were not room for us both in this vast province ! 

My dear wife and I are both very conscious of our weakness 
and feebleness. But our God has been pleased to use such 
instruments, and if the definite destruction of idols may be 
taken to be any sign, the Lord has been most graciously blessing 
His work during the last four or five months, and so perhaps 
we might plead for some little grace before the decapitation is 
completed ! 

Writing a week later he adds : 

Miss Hanbury is preparing to leave here the beginning of 
the year. We accept the arrangement as from the Lord Who 
doeth all things well. He will bless us in giving her up. 

During the last months since the Lord " has weakened our 
strength " in the matter of workers He has also strengthened 
our weakness and especially blessed our work. 

And it was true that for some months special bless- 
ing was vouchsafed at this time of special trial. This 



is alluded to in several letters, of which the following 
is from one : 

The Lord is blessing and teaching us something more as to 
how to obey the command " Receive ye the Holy Ghost ". 
The channels are being cleared out and the faith valves got 
into order, and we are learning to obey and receive the promised 
Holy Spirit by faith. ... 

The matter of reinforcements I safely leave with the Lord, 
as I have always done. We do not want any here of man's 
sending nor of man's arranging. I only ask the Lord for 
workers, and am not anxious about the matter. 

We shall so miss dear, ever reliable, ever kind, ever unselfish 
Miss Hanbury. 

But as time progressed it became necessary to con- 
template the furloughs of Miss F. M. Williams and 
Mr. and Mrs. Cassels. This only served to emphasise 
the way in which the district was being depleted of 
workers, and called forth the following review and 
summary : 

As regards myself, if we have to go home before next 
summer I suppose I shall be enabled to tear myself away, and 
to submit to the will of the Lord, but it will not be at all easy. 

I am truly sorry that not even a temporary stop-gap can be 
found to go to Wanhsien for a while. 

Does the fault lie with ourselves (or with myself) that so 
far from being able to do any extension work in this district 
our forces have rather been ebbing away from us, leaving us 
weaker and weaker ? 

Hughesdon gone and Phelps, A. P. Turner on furlough, 
Beauchamps, Haywards, Miss Hanbury, and Miss Barclay all 
removed elsewhere. 

This was nothing less than the loss of eleven 
workers if wives were included, six of these being either 
on furlough or employed temporarily elsewhere, but 
two had resigned from the Mission, and two had been 
permanently appointed to Shanghai. It was no small 
wonder that, faced with such a loss and with his own 


furlough in prospect, he should view the situation with 
grave concern, despite the arrival of some new but 
inexperienced workers. 

We do thank God [he wrote] for the reinforcements sent 
us, but we have indeed cause to stir ourselves up to prayer 
when, as regards brethren at any rate, they have not filled up 
the gaps made by those who have left us. 


Thy Mother's treasure wert thou ; alas ! no longer 
To visit her heart with a wondrous joy ; to be 

Thy father's pride ; ah, he 

Must gather his faith together, and his strength make stronger. 


IN the spring of 1893 Cassels began seriously to 
consider the necessity of taking furlough. He had 
already spent eight strenuous years in China and was 
feeling the need of refreshment. Mrs. Cassels' health 
was also giving him increasing anxiety, while his mother 
at home and his fellow-workers in the field were urging 
him not to delay. But his presence in China in some 
ways seemed necessary. Bishop G. E. Moule had just 
appointed him as his Commissary, and in response to 
Cassels' request, the Bishop also had granted Lay 
Reader's licences to three workers. To leave just 
when the work was demanding substantial organisa- 
tion, and when some serious persecutions had broken 
out, seemed regrettable. How carefully he weighed 
the pros and cons of the situation, and how slow he 
was to take the easy path for himself, the following 
letters make evident : 

PAONING, April ijth, 1893. I feel that you [Mr. Stevenson] 
may be expecting me to write you on the subject of our 
furlough, so I must briefly trespass on your time. 

(i) The subject was frequently mentioned last year, but, as 
you are aware, I strenuously opposed the idea. But whilst 
opposing it I often felt that I must beware of opposing it in a 
fleshly way when the thing might be of God. 



(2) The Minutes of our Provincial District Council meeting 
held in December will have shown you what their feeling was. 
And, of course, I felt that their opinion ought to have the fullest 

(3) Soon after that my dear Mother, quite independently, 
began the attack, pleading with me to take a rest, and after 
two or three letters I began to feel vulnerable. I did, however, 
make some objections, and said, amongst other things, that 
possibly if funds were supplied in an independent way, we 
might discern the Lord's will better. 

(4) And now, before that letter has reached home, I hear that 
40 has been sent to Shanghai towards our travelling expenses, 
and from quite an independent source, and thus my challenge 
has been met, and I feel I may no longer withstand God. 

(5) In addition to this, I think it is evident that the state 
of my wife's health for the last year or more has been such as 
would have sent home a less plucky lady, and one who had less 
recuperative power, several times over. . . . 

(6) I feel I must begin to confess that I have lost a good 
deal of the vigour which I had, and that my work frequently 
hangs fire somehow. 

Having then written so decidedly against taking furlough on 
several occasions, I feel bound to lay these facts before you that 
you may do what seems right in the matter. 

I would add, however, that, whilst it might be wrong to 
endeavour to face another summer after this, we are anxious 
to remain at our posts as many months as we can, and still to 
take whatever share the Lord may allow us in this work, 
especially that younger workers may be gaining experience and 
knowledge of the language. 

I earnestly hope, too, that if we are to go it may not be 
until Stanley Smith has paid us his promised visit, and a 
special effort of some kind has been made at his coming. 

Two or three months later, in an undated letter, 
Cassels, when writing to Shanghai about the need of 
a chapel, reported the birth of his first son, Francis, 
an occasion of rejoicing not only to themselves but to 
their Chinese friends, to whom a son and heir is a 
cause for special congratulations. 

As the year wore on the necessity of furlough be- 
came increasingly apparent. In the summer he reports : 


" Our little Jessie has been very ill with remittent 
fever (complicated) ", but Mrs. Cassels' health gave 
more serious grounds for anxiety. Letter after letter 
reveals increasing urgency. In the early part of 
September he states that " she has been very ill with 
remittent fever ". A fortnight later he writes again in 
a letter headed with the words " After that ye have 
suffered awhile " : 

My dear wife has been very ill with remittent fever, and 
we have had a very anxious time for some days. . . . Dr. Parry 
has been most unceasing in his kindness and attention. 

Again in October : 

Who is to come here ? . . . There must be a clergyman in 
full orders, or else one must visit constantly. 

It will be a great wrench to go, but I fear my wife cannot 
stand another summer. 

It was now abundantly clear that the work must be 
left for a time. Authority, therefore, was sought from 
Shanghai for some definite arrangements in view of his 
prospective absence, and he also began systematically 
to visit the country Christians, hoping to be ready to 
leave shortly after the Chinese New Year in 1894. But 
before we proceed to speak of their departure, special 
reference must be made to the opening of the first 
chapel in Paoning, which took place on Christmas Day, 
1893, seven years to the day from the time when he 
first set foot in Paoning city. 

PAONING, December 2&ih, 1893. Never was the work round 
this centre so hopeful as it is just now. 

Our new chapel was sufficiently completed to be used last 
Sunday and Monday (i.e. Christmas Day), and on both days a 
congregation of nearly two hundred people fairly well filled the 
building, and gave us cause for devout thankfulness. 

Early on Sunday morning I was round in the new chapel 
spending a quiet half hour in prayer for the new building 

Opened on Christmas Day, 1893. 


To face />age 166. 


before the day began. While kneeling there at the top end a 
man came in with a " pei-lan-tsi " (basket) on his back. He 
too knelt for a moment in prayer and then took a seat. I soon 
got up to speak to him. I knew him as a man who had been 
a few times, and found that he had brought a basket full of his 
idols and tablets which he wished to destroy publicly. 

So the first outsider to enter the chapel on the morning of 
its opening was one who was turning from idols to God. 

On Christmas Day I baptised ten of our catechumens, four 
of them men and six of them women. Nearly all were advanced 
in age. 

In the afternoon we had a most interesting testimony meet- 
ing. Then the idols were burnt, and the most joyful climax of 
the day was that our Mohammedan landlady, whose daughter- 
in-law and son are already baptised, and for whom we have 
prayed much that she might have courage to come right out, 
offered herself for baptism, either then and there or at any 
other time. The Lord be praised ! 

And now the day of departure drew near. " It will 
be a sort of funeral to me ", he wrote on February 15, 
1894. On the following Sunday he bade farewell to 
the country Christians, and had the joy of baptising 
at the same time twelve catechumens. On this occa- 
sion the Chinese, in token of their regard, presented 
him with eight scrolls on which were written their 
farewell wishes. At length on Monday, March 5, after 
trials of faith which he thought " not wonderful at all 
in the midst of the encouragements the Lord has given " 
for he had baptised just one hundred people in the 
district since his arrival he bade farewell for a time 
to his adopted home and people. 

It was a touching parting [he wrote on his journey down 
river]. Crowds escorted us to the boat, where we sang a hymn 
of praise, and commended our friends to the Lord in prayer. 
Truly the Lord has done great things for us whereof we are 
glad. To Him be all the glory for His work, to us all the 
shame for our feebleness and mistakes. 

But a great and lasting sorrow was to befall them 
ere they left the shores of China, for in Shanghai their 


beloved boy Francis was suddenly taken seriously ill 
and died. In a letter to his mother, dated from the 
Mediterranean Sea, he wrote as follows : 

How delightful after this long journey will it be to see the 
shores of Old England again and to be once more on " terra 
firma " ! and how much more delightful to be with you once 
more, dearest Mother, and once again to lay my head upon 
your shoulder as of old ! 

But I must go back to the beginning and describe our 
journey a little. 

You will, I hope, have got my letters and postcards from 
Shanghai. You will have heard how our dear little boy 
such a bright, happy, cheerful little fellow, always full of 
smiles for every one was taken from us, his poor weakened 
little body breathing its last in my arms, as his soul fled away 
to the brighter Land. That was on the Friday, and as the 
home mail left early the next morning, I think, I have not 
been able to tell you any more. 

On the Saturday afternoon we laid the dear little one to 
rest in the plot belonging to the China Inland Mission in the 
pretty Shanghai cemetery, Mr. Hodges, the Chaplain (who, by 
the way, always asks after you) taking the service, Mr. 
Stevenson and several other members of our China Council, 
along with Mr. Hayward, bearing the little coffin, which was 
all covered with wreaths and flowers, the gifts of sympathising 
friends of our Mission. 

I cannot tell you how touching all the sympathy was that 
we got from our friends. It made one realise more than ever 
what a family feeling there is in the China Inland Mission, 
and the privilege of belonging to it. 

For instance, Mrs. Hudson Taylor came in at once to see 
us when she heard our little one had gone, and soon after Mr. 
Taylor himself came in, mingling his tears with ours as he 
kissed the cold but ever sweet little face, and both then, and 
again and again afterwards, his prayers for us were most wonder- 
ful, and his allusions to our loss in our Bible readings most 
touching. Kind letters of sympathy (some enclosing sums to 
help towards the general expenses) came in from many friends, 
and kind acts melted our hearts again and again. It was 
particularly nice being with the Haywards at that time, and 
they did so much for us. 

We were able to visit the cemetery once more and see the 
turf nicely laid on it, as well as arrange for a little headstone 
to be made. 


It was with sad and chastened hearts Mr. and Mrs. 
Cassels set sail for the old country on April 26, their 
affections being inseparably attached to China through 
their children in the faith in far Szechwan, and through 
the precious remains of their son, according to the flesh, 
laid to rest in Shanghai. That sacred spot in Shanghai 
cemetery set a lasting seal upon the bond which bound 
them to the land of their adoption. 

God, to Thee I yield 

The gift Thou givest most precious, most divine ! 
Yet to what field 

1 must resign 
His little feet 

That wont to be so fleet, 

I muse. O, joy to think 

On what soft brink 

Of flood he plucks the daffodils, 

On what empurpled hills 

He stands, Thy kiss all fresh upon his brow, 

And wonders, if his father sees him now ! 1 

1 T. E. Brown. 




Paul served first as a private missionary pioneer in his native 
land, then as a junior colleague and assistant to Barnabas, until the 
summons came to take a higher place, when "the signs of an 
Apostle " had been fully " wrought in him ". Not in a day, nor by 
the effect of a single revelation did he become the fully armed and 
all-accomplished Apostle of the Gentiles. " After the space of 
fourteen years" it was time for him to stand forth the approved 
witness and minister of Jesus Christ, whom Peter and John publicly 
embraced as their equal. G. G. FINDLAY. 



For thus saith the High and Lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, 
Whose name is Holy ; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him 
also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the 
humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite. ISAIAH Ivii. 15. 

WITH glad yet chastened spirits, Mr. and Mrs. Cassels 
landed in England early in June 1894, to find the home- 
land in all the glory of its early summer, and only those 
who have lived abroad can appreciate what this means. 
It was Carey in India who wrote, " I know not that I 
ever enjoyed, since leaving Europe, a simple pleasure 
so exquisite as the sight of this English daisy afforded 
me not having seen one for upwards of thirty years, 
and never expecting to see one again ". And an English 
meadow golden with buttercups, when seen afresh after 
years of absence, can move the heart to tears. 

But better than all these things they found the 
mother's heart and home ready to welcome them at 
Vanbrugh Park Road West, Blackheath. Amid the 
sacred joys of such reunions for Mrs. Cassels also 
visited her mother at Worthing that hallowed spot 
in God's acre in China was not forgotten. 

We have one great sorrow in this home-coming [wrote 
Mrs. Cassels to a friend]. We left behind us a little grave in 
Shanghai. The Lord called upon us to part with our little 
Frank, a lovely babe of eight months. He was such a bright, 
happy little pet, the very joy and delight of his father's heart 
a perfect little sunbeam. 

But no sooner had they landed in England than the 
perennial problem of the missionary on furlough con- 



fronted them, namely, how to reconcile the task of 
fulfilling numerous pressing engagements, and the duty 
of obtaining the rest they so much needed. Within a 
week of landing Mr. Cassels spoke at the Annual 
Meetings of the Mission, and a few personal extracts 
from his address must not be omitted from these pages. 

God has blessed us as a Mission [he said]. You were 
hearing of it this afternoon. He has blessed our leaders ; He 
has blessed our organisation ; and I should be robbing God of 
His glory if I did not testify that He has been blessing me as 
an individual. ... 

You have heard how help has been given in the matter 
of funds. You have heard of the increase in the number 
baptised. In all these matters the Lord has helped us. And 
if I spoke of myself, should I have a different tale to tell ? Very 
far from it. During these nine odd years I cannot remember 
that I have been confined to bed for one single day. I have 
travelled thousands of miles, and not one hair of my head has 
been hurt. And if you ask about the matter of provision, here 
again God has done exceeding abundantly, not one good thing 
has failed. 

I wonder if I may stop to draw back the curtain for a 
moment that God may be glorified. Take one instance. 
Suppose you were just about to be married, and suddenly you 
were robbed of your silver and the greater part of your clothing. 
You would consider yourself in rather an uncomfortable pre- 
dicament. But supposing that very night you received a 
cheque in a most unusual and exceptional manner, sent off 
weeks before, would you not say that God was taking care of 
you and perhaps wanting to provide for you that new outfit 
on such an occasion which you had denied yourself ? That, at 
any rate, was what we said. 

Or again, suppose that your funds had come to an end, 
and from day to day you cast yourself upon the Lord with 
prayer and fasting, with a God-given confidence and holy joy, 
no one but He knowing your circumstances ; and suppose that 
the day before some special amount had to be met you received 
the exact sum put into your hands in a most exceptional manner, 
would not a thrill of gratitude go through you as you recognised 
God's hand ? That, at any rate, was the case with me. 

A few days after these Annual Meetings we find 
him present at the Mildmay Conference, and in July 


at Keswick, distressed not a little by the sad news that 
war had broken out between China and Japan since 
his arrival home. August was spent as locum tenens 
in a small country parish in Wiltshire, where the popula- 
tion was only three hundred souls, that rest might be 
secured ere the plunge was taken into the exacting 
engagements of the autumn, which need not be 
detailed here. 

Towards the close of November Mr. Cassels, with 
his little daughter Jessie, then aged five, visited Oporto, 
the place of his birth, where three brothers and one 
sister still resided, and during the seven or eight weeks 
spent there he awakened and fostered not a little 
interest in the work in China, as was proved by the 
generous gifts of money and jewellery. Mrs. Cassels, 
owing to the birth of their second son, William Cecil, 
on October 14, did not venture on this visit overseas, 
but spent the Christmas with her mother at Worthing. 

All through these months, with war waging between 
China and Japan, news and mails from the Far East were 
anxiously awaited, and high hopes were entertained by 
not a few that the issue of this strife would be the 
opening of China more fully to the Gospel. It was in 
this expectation that Cassels engaged in his deputation 

I am glad to have your view [he wrote to Mr. Stevenson] 
that the war will lead to more wide-open doors than ever in 
China. This solemn prospect is just what I had been en- 
deavouring to lay upon God's people at home in many of my 

In my various meetings I have not felt led to plead 
specially for my own district. On the contrary I have felt it 
my duty and pleasure to regard the work as a whole, and to 
speak of it generally and as a unit. 

It is interesting to note, in the correspondence of 
this period, a reference to the transfer of the China 


Inland Mission headquarters from Pyrland Road to 
Newington Green. Writing on April 5, 1895, he says : 

As to Bishop Moule (of Mid China), I have not seen him 
since I have been in England. I have had a busy time lately. 
Early in March I started for Derby where I had a number of 
meetings and sermons. Then I went to Wakefield, Leeds, 
Nottingham, Barnsley, Dewsbury, Nottingham again, Brad- 
ford, etc., and returned to London in time for the Council 
Meeting on 26th [March], the last in the old premises. . . . 
The new house is now in use, and the first prayer meeting will 
be held in it to-morrow. 

But the hopes about China were to be rudely 
shattered at least for a time. The open doors were 
only to be reached by way of the Cross. The war, it is 
true, had been brought to a close by the fall of Wei- 
hai-wei in February, after the total destruction of the 
Chinese fleet and the capture of Port Arthur. Such a 
conclusion was deeply mortifying to Chinese pride. 
That China the giant should be humiliated by Japan, 
the land of " dwarfs ", was, indeed, a bitter pill, 
especially to those who had been intoxicated with the 
wine of false success. And as the truth slowly dis- 
illusioned the Chinese people, there was, as might have 
been expected, a disastrous reaction. 

The first of the anti-foreign outbursts took place in 
Szechwan on May 28, when the Canadian Methodist 
Mission premises in Chengtu were destroyed. Next 
day the remaining Protestant and Roman Catholic 
Missions in the same city shared a like fate. This was 
as a spark to gunpowder, and rioting of a more or less 
serious nature followed in Kwanhsien, Kiating, Suifu, 
Luchow, Paoning, and other centres. Rumours of the 
most harrowing description spread abroad, and the 
keenest anxiety was awakened at home. 

As telegraphic communication has been stopped between 
Chengtu and Shanghai by order of the Viceroy [wrote Mrs, 


Cassels to a friend], it is believed by British officials at Shanghai 
that a fearful massacre of all the missionaries has taken place. 
. . . The China Inland Mission premises at Paoning are said 
to be destroyed and its members hunted about like wild 
beasts. . . . You can imagine our feelings. 

It was with anxious hearts and dread forebodings 
that Mr. and Mrs. Cassels went in June to Cromer for 
a period of rest and change. The situation in China 
was such that an opportunity for uninterrupted waiting 
upon God was welcome, but there were other questions 
now deeply exercising their hearts and minds. Bishop 
G. E. Moule of Mid China, having recognised for some 
time his inability to visit the Church of England work 
in West China, which was nearly two thousand miles 
away from his station, Hangchow " He used to tell 
me ", said Bishop Cassels once, " that his episcopal 
crook would not reach to a distance of eighteen hundred 
miles " had been in consultation with the ecclesi- 
astical authorities at home about the formation of a 
separate diocese for Western China. This the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury was prepared to do, and in the 
negotiations which followed between Lambeth Palace, 
the Church Missionary Society, and the China Inland 
Mission, the name of the Rev. W. W. Cassels was 
suggested as the possible future Bishop. To Cassels 
this was an altogether undreamed-of proposal, and he 
therefore gladly welcomed the retirement Cromer 
afforded for earnest meditation and prayer. 

In a letter to Mr. Stevenson, dated June 12, he 
wrote : 

As we are leaving home to-morrow for a little rest and sea 
air (the first I have really had yet) I must leave a note for you 
to give you a cordial welcome home. May the Lord grant you 
much refreshment and blessing, and prosper you in all you do ! 

We are going to Cromer for three or four weeks or so, but 
it will be a great pleasure to meet you some time or other. 



There is a matter which is quite private at present, but which 
I want you to know about that you may help me with your 
prayers and advice. Mr. Sloan will be able to tell you details 
which I cannot enter into in a letter : 

(1) It appears that it has been proposed to establish a new 
diocese for the West of China, and the Archbishop has expressed 
his approval. 

(2) To my intense astonishment my name has been men- 
tioned to the Archbishop by the C.M.S. at the suggestion of 
Bishop Moule and others, and the C.M.S. have made a proposal 
to me on the matter. 

At first it seemed impossible for me with all my insufficiency 
and incapacity to entertain the idea. But Webb-Peploe and 
others, whom I was advised to consult privately, have said with 
one voice that I must consider it as a call from God and cast 
myself upon His enabling grace. . . . 

I am intensely cast upon the Lord, seeking His guidance and 
overruling that His Will may be done. . . . 

If we get you a room at Cromer could you not come and 
see us there ? It would be so nice. 

Turning from the personal aspect of the question, 
we are able, through the kindness of the present Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, who has supplied the necessary 
correspondence, to print the following letters inter- 
changed between Archbishop Benson and the Rev. 
B. Baring-Gould, who was at that time a Secretary of 
the Church Missionary Society. Writing to the Arch- 
bishop under date of June n, 1895, Mr. Baring-Gould 
said : 

. . . The question regarding the proposed Bishopric in 
Western China is the only one which is somewhat urgent 
inasmuch as the Rev. W. W. Cassels contemplates returning, 
as at present advised, to Szechwan early in September. Hence 
I venture to trouble Your Grace with this further letter. We 
have had considerable correspondence with the China Inland 
Mission on this subject, and we have every reason to believe 
that no difficulty will arise on their side regarding the proposed 
Bishopric scheme for Western China. We are therefore quite 
prepared to bring it before our Committee, and officially to 
nominate the Rev. W. W. Cassels for the appointment to Your 
Grace if you see your way very kindly to approve the scheme. 


On this letter Archbishop Benson made the follow- 
ing marginal note, " To employ only C. of E. men ". 

On July 10, 1895, there is a memorandum by the 
Archbishop of a conversation between himself and Mr. 
Baring-Gould with regard to Western China. He 
notes : 

A missionary Bishop (Mr. Cassels) to superintend C.M.S. 
and C.I.M. work. (In his case guarantee fund need not be 
provided for purely missionary.) 

But while a guarantee fund was not made essential 
a guaranteed episcopal stipend was. This the China 
Inland Mission could not promise, it being contrary to 
its Principles and Practice to guarantee any income to 
any of its missionaries, but the Church Missionary 
Society gladly pledged itself to be responsible in this 
matter. Thus the future Bishop, when consecrated, 
would also be enrolled among that Society's mission- 
aries, while still retaining his position in the China 
Inland Mission. 

On July 18, eight days after the conversation 
referred to above, Mr. Baring-Gould wrote to the 
Archbishop as follows : 

It is with much thankfulness that I write to inform Your 
Grace that our Committee on Tuesday last approved the scheme 
for promoting a missionary Bishopric for Western China. 
Recognising the comparative large share of Church of England 
work carried on in Szechwan by missionaries connected with 
the China Inland Mission and being aware of the prominent 
position in that sphere occupied by the Rev. W. W. Cassels, 
who, as one of their missionaries, has laboured there for some 
eight years, the Committee direct me to approach Your Grace 
with the respectful request that you will accept their nomina- 
tion of the Rev. W. W. Cassels, M.A., now on furlough at 
9 Vanbrugh Park Road West, Blackheath, S.E., formerly Curate 
of All Saints, South Lambeth, to be consecrated as first Bishop 
of Western China. They gratefully recognise your considerate 
kindness in waiving in this instance your claim to receive a 
second name. 


The Archbishop who, " with all his usual gracious- 
ness ", to quote Dr. Eugene Stock, had taken a warm 
interest in these proposals, wrote in reply on July 20, 

Will you be so good as to inform your Committee that it 
will give me satisfaction to nominate as a missionary Bishop in 
Szechwan for Western China x the Rev. W. W. Cassels as they 
suggest, and that, God willing, I hope to summon him to receive 
consecration on St. Matthew's Day or Michaelmas Day, as 
may seem most convenient hereafter. EDWARD CANTUAR. S 

And now we turn from these negotiations to get a 
glimpse of the man himself and the spirit in which he 
faced the honourable yet onerous responsibilities laid 
upon him. On July 17 he wrote : 

MY DEAR MR. STEVENSON Many thanks for your very kind 
letter. I will not write much for I hope, D.V., to see you at 
Keswick on Saturday or on Monday. 

Baring- Gould writes that the Committee gave their " cordial 
and entirely unanimous approval " yesterday. 

We now await another telegram from Mr. Taylor. There 
are many difficulties ahead, but the Lord is sufficient, and the 
sympathy of such friends as yourself is most cheering. 

Meanwhile I keep in the dust before the Lord. More at 
Keswick. I believe we are to be in the same house with you. 

With warm love, Your affectionate brother, 


The first public announcement of this appointment 
was made at the great Saturday missionary meeting at 
Keswick, and called forth much prayerful interest. 

1 The Queen's warrant to the Archbishop of Canterbury assigned the 
limits of this diocese as " those parts of the provinces of Szechwan and 
Kweichow in the Empire of China as lie to the north of the a8th parallel 
of latitude." 

a General Bramwell Booth, in Echoes and Memories, speaking of Arch- 
bishop Benson, says : " His naturally sanguine temperament helped him to 
see not only what presented itself at the moment ; but what was likely to 
come to pass in the future. There was a prophetic vein in him." This was 
certainly true in his choice of the Rev. W. W. Cassels as first Bishop in 
Western China. 


Meantime news from China was being anxiously looked 
for. The troubles in Szechwan proved to be less 
serious than had been feared. Though the Viceroy 
was personally implicated no lives had been lost, but 
the destruction of property and the nervous strain upon 
the missionary community had been great. Formidable 
persecution had also broken out in Chekiang, as well 
as a Mohammedan rebellion in the far north-west. 
But all these troubles, serious as they were, were 
suddenly eclipsed by the terrible news, which came as 
a thunderbolt, that on August i no fewer than twelve 
persons, including two children and an English nurse, 
all connected with the Church Missionary Society and 
the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society, 
had been brutally massacred at Kucheng in Fukien, 
while others had been seriously and almost mortally 

Such news at such a time was to William Cassels 
a fresh baptism into the sufferings of Christ, and 
brought a fuller realisation of what it might mean to 
be a shepherd of Christ's sheep. 

I believe the mail is in again to-day [he wrote on August 4th], 
but it brings us no news from Szechwan. 

We are also anxiously looking for further news from Fukien. 
Saturday's evening papers reported a massacre of Christians 
there [at Kucheng, Mr. Stewart's station]. Poor China ! Was 
there ever more need to be in prayer for her. ... 

P.S. Alas ! Alas ! ! What terrible news from China this 
morning. Mrs. Marshall, who lives near us, has a private 
telegram confirming her daughter's death, and the details given 
prevent a possibility of mistake. 

All this was a solemn inauguration for William 
Cassels into his new fellowship with the Church 
Missionary Society, and he was immediately called 
upon to speak at a public meeting arranged in Exeter 
Hall by the two Societies affected. 


At less than a week's notice [wrote Dr. Stock] in the midst 
of the holiday season, a great throng of praying and sympathis- 
ing friends crowded the Hall (Exeter Hall). Friends of other 
Societies, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, the China 
Inland Mission, London, Baptist and Presbyterian Societies, 
took part by reading passages of Scripture or offering prayer. 

The speakers were the President (Sir J. E. Kennaway) 
and Mr. Lloyd of Fuchow (then in England), Mr. Cassels (just 
appointed Bishop for Western China), and Mr. Fox (who had 
that very day been appointed Honorary Secretary). Not one 
bitter word was uttered ; nothing but sympathy with the 
bereaved, pity for the misguided murderers, thanksgiving for 
the holy lives of the martyrs, fervent desires for the evangelisa- 
tion of China. The presence of the Lord was marvellously 
manifested. Several hymns of faith and hope were sung, and 
the meeting closed with the singing of " When I survey the 
wondrous Cross " in the attitude of prayer. 

On Friday, St. Luke's Day, October 18, of the 
same year, the consecration of Bishop Cassels took 
place, together with that of Bishop Talbot to the See 
of Rochester in succession to Bishop Randall Davidson, 
in Westminster Abbey, in the presence of a crowded 
congregation. Archbishop Benson officiated, assisted 
by the Bishops of Winchester, Lichfield, St. Albans, 
Salisbury, Southwell, Truro, Southwark, Richmond 
and Mid China, and the preacher was the Rev. J. G. 
Simpson, Rector of St. Paul's, Dundee, who took for 
his text Psalm cxix. 96 : " Thy commandment is 
exceeding broad." 

Exactly a week later Bishop and Mrs. Cassels, with 
two children and a German nurse, sailed for China. 
And the day after landing in Shanghai the new Bishop 
sent the following letter to all the missionaries in his 
newly formed Diocese : 


December 5, 1895. 
" I am but a little child." 

" Jesus called a little child unto Him and set him in the midst." 
" A little child shall lead them." 


To the Missionary Clergy and Others in the Diocese of Western 
China : 

BELOVED BRETHREN I think you will have understood my 
not having written to you before. 

In the first place, I felt that the announcement that had to 
be made should come from others, and especially from your 
former Bishop, and from the Societies with which you are 
connected, rather than from myself. 

And, beyond this, the great strain and many engagements 
of the last weeks at home would have made it almost impossible 
for me to have written you a suitable letter, for there was more 
to be attended to than you can realise, and previous engage- 
ments for meetings had also to be kept up to the last. 

Now, however, I must no longer delay to address you a 
preliminary letter, and I shall offer no excuse for writing some- 
thing about myself and the call which has come to me, and how 
it is that I so full of unworthiness and so lacking in capacity 
should have been obliged to accept that call as from God. 

It was with great surprise that I first heard the proposal, 
for the rumours which I had heard had not prepared my mind 
for it, and it seemed, at first, impossible for me to accept it. 
But a proposal, made in such a way, after earnest deliberation 
and much prayer a proposal which had already received the 
preliminary sanction of His Grace the Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, and which was made after consultation with the Home 
Council of the China Inland Mission, and was warmly backed 
by Bishop (George) Moule was not, of course, to be rejected 
off-hand, and I was advised to take time and consult with others. 
I laid the matter before Prebendary Webb-Peploe and some 
other leading men, and to my surprise, in each case, my advisers 
declared decidedly that I must regard the matter as a call from 
God. How, then, could I do otherwise ? 

If any one I consulted had spoken with hesitation there 
might have been a loophole. If a second name had been pro- 
posed to the Archbishop, in accordance with his usual rule, I 
might have found an escape there. But in neither case was it so. 

There was one thing, however, I felt might hinder the 
carrying out of the proposal. I could not see my way to 
separate myself in the least from the Mission with which I had 
been connected so long, and the maintenance of my connection 
with the China Inland Mission seemed to be a sine qua non. 
But this apparent obstacle disappeared as soon as it was men- 
tioned, and even those whom I expected to regard it as in- 
superable, found it no obstacle at all ; so I was obliged to lay 
myself at the Lord's feet for the service to which I began to 


feel very clearly He must have called me. Just at this time 
it was that I had the only time of rest and cessation from work 
that had opened out for me at all in England, so that, day by 
day, I was enabled to lay the whole matter before the Lord, 
asking Him most sincerely to hinder it, if it was not His plan, 
or to re-anoint me, if it was His call. But I suppose never in 
my life had I been brought down so low before the Lord, or 
so completely realised my own absolute unworthiness, and this 
is the only position I can ever take. I am, in myself, and ever 
shall be, the weakest and simplest child ; but, if He calls a 
little child and sets him in the midst, He will carry out His own 
purposes even through a little child. 

And, indeed, there has been already very much to encourage. 

1. The first public announcement of the appointment was 
made at the Missionary Meeting at Keswick, and drew forth 
much prayerful sympathy and interest. 

2. My interviews with the Archbishop were very helpful 
and strengthening. 

3 . The very kind sympathy of both the Church Missionary 
Society and China Inland Mission friends has most cheered me. 

4. It was a great source of encouragement to me to get such 
a hearty assent to the proposal from the Rev. J. Hudson Taylor, 
with whom I had correspondence both by wire and by letter. 

5. Nor must I forget to mention the help of the solemn 
Consecration Service at Westminster Abbey, at which praying 
friends were gathered together from all parts of England. Mr. 
Luce, for instance, came from Gloucester, and others from the 
north and south, to show their interest, and to join in prayer 
with us ; and I suppose never before has there been a Conse- 
cration Service at which so many of God's people belonging to 
various denominations were gathered together. 

6. I may mention, too, as an interesting thing, that on the 
Sunday previous to the Consecration, special prayer was offered 
not only in a number of our own churches, but also in several 
Nonconformist Churches. 

7. The most kind and sympathetic advice of my friend, the 
Rev. A. E. Barnes-Lawrence, who is now also my Commissary, 
is a matter for which I specially thank God. 

So you see that the Lord, in His goodness, has given much 
to encourage, and you will, no doubt, have heard from other 
sources how much prayerful interest has been drawn out on 
behalf of the new diocese in Western China. 

A few more weeks at home would have been very valuable 
in helping to deepen this interest, but I felt that I ought to 
return to the field as soon as possible, so I left at the very 


earliest possible date, and I am eagerly, and yet as you can 
imagine somewhat tremblingly, looking forward to being 
amongst you once more ; and I am sure I need not plead for 
your earnest and constant prayers. May I suggest that you 
will find some of the prayers in the Consecration Service very 
suggestive in making intercession for me. 

I must not now address you on matters which must come 
before us in the course of time. With regard to those brethren 
who are already applicants for Holy Orders, I will write to them 
individually. The question of confirmation can, perhaps, stand 
over until my arrival. 

But there is one thing that I do want to say. My great, 
earnest desire is that we may all be drawn together as one in the 
service of the Lord. A great work lies before us, and any lack 
of unity will hamper and hinder us most terribly. Perhaps no 
word has been more on my mind in this connection than the 
touching exhortation in i Peter iii. 8 (R.V.), " Be ye all like- 
minded, compassionate, loving as brethren, tender-hearted, 
humble-minded ". There is, indeed, a great deal which should 
bind us together. Our modes and operations are all on the 
same lines. We are the only workers in the vast and needy 
field of Northern and Eastern Szechwan. The state of China, 
just now, urgently calls us to join hands and to knit our hearts 
together for the advancement of God's Kingdom. I pray God 
that the Devil may be hindered in his certain endeavours to 
sow seeds of disunion amongst us. In any matter of difference 
of opinion let us take the inspired injunction of the Apostle for 
our guide : " Let the peace of God be umpire." 

I will not write more now. We only arrived here yesterday, 
and I am most anxious to get this letter off at the earliest 
possible date. I am hoping that we may be able to start up 
the River by the end of next week. But I had much wanted 
to see Mr. Taylor and he is away just now. 

My earnest prayers are for you all I am, Yours affection- 
ately in Christ, W. W. CASSELS, 

Bishop in Western China. 

It was in this spirit that the Bishop, accompanied 
by a party of workers, once more set his face toward 
the west of China, being by no means ignorant of the 
difficulties which confronted him, but determined by 
God's grace to follow his Master along " Love's 
Highway of Humility ". 


Remember now and always that life is no idle dream, but a solemn 
reality based upon eternity, and encompassed by eternity. Find 
out your task ; stand to it ; " the night cometh when no man can 
work." CARLYLE. 

AFTER a journey of some eighteen hundred miles up 
the Yangtze, and then another three hundred and thirty 
miles of overland travelling, not without its anxieties, 
Paoning was safely reached on February 3, 1896. 
Just six weeks later, on March 17, Mrs. Cassels gave 
birth to twin daughters, Frances Grace and Dorothy 

It happened that Mrs. Bird Bishop, the well-known 
traveller, was visiting Paoning at this time, and she was 
deeply impressed with all she saw, and especially with 
the need of medical help. " She said frequently ", 
wrote the Bishop, " how much we needed a medical 
man in this neighbourhood, and is anxious to interest 
herself in our getting a Hospital here." 

To secure for this purpose some available Chinese 
premises Mrs. Bishop gave as an initial gift 100, 
which led to the founding of what is now known as the 
Henrietta Bird Memorial Hospital. We are happily 
able, from Mrs. Bishop's book, The Yangtze Valley and 
Beyond, to gain to-day a vivid picture of the Bishop 
and his surroundings at this time. Of her entry and 
welcome into Paoning she wrote : 

After the treelessness of much of the region I had traversed, 
and the comparatively poor soil and inferior dwellings, the 



view of Paoning and its surroundings was most charming in the 
soft afternoon sunshine. Built on rich alluvium, surrounded 
on three sides by a bend of the river, with temple roofs and gate 
towers rising out of dense greenery and a pink mist of peach 
blossom, with fair and fertile country rolling up to mountains 
in the north, dissolving in a blue haze, and with the peacock- 
green water of the Kia-ling for a foreground, the first view of 
this important city was truly attractive. 

In the distance appeared two Chinese gentlemen, one stout, 
the other tall and slender, whose walk as they approached gave 
me a suspicion that they were foreigners, and they proved to be 
Bishop Cassels, our youngest and one of our latest consecrated 
Bishops, and his coadjutor, Mr Williams, formerly vicar of 
St. Stephen's, Leeds, who had come to welcome me. We 
ferried the Kia-ling, and passing through attractive suburbs, 
either green lanes with hedges, trees, and vegetable gardens, or 
narrow flagged roads, very clean, bounded by roofed walls and 
handsome gateways of private nouses, we reached the China 
Inland Mission buildings, consisting of a neat Church, very 
humble Chinese houses for the married and bachelor mission- 
aries, guest-rooms, and servants' quarters, all cheerful, but 
greatly lacking privacy. This was a pleasant halt after a 
journey of three hundred miles without a really untoward 
incident, except the riot at Liangshan. 

After some detailed descriptions of the city a closer 
portrait of the Bishop and of the work is given in the 
following words : 

Dr. Cassels * who was one of the pioneers, and formerly 
well known as an athlete at Cambridge, had recently been 
consecrated Bishop and came from the splendours of his 
consecration in Westminster Abbey to take up the old, simple, 
hard-working life, to wear a queue and Chinese dress, and be 
simply the " chief pastor ". The native Christians gave him 
a cordial reception on his return, and presented him with the 
hat of a Master of Arts and high boots, which make a very 
seemly addition to the English episcopal dress, giving it the 
propriety which is necessary in Chinese eyes and in mine the 
picturesque aspect of one of the marauding prelates of the 
Middle Ages, the good bishop having a burly, athletic physique ! 
Since his return, several of the lay missionaries have been 
ordained deacons. 

1 Bishop Cassels did not receive the Degree of D.D. until many years 
later October 31, 1913, from his own University, Cambridge. 


The Church was built almost entirely with Chinese money 
and gifts. It is Chinese in style, the chancel windows are 
" glazed " with coloured paper to simulate stained glass, and 
it is seated for two hundred. . . . 

I witnessed a Chinese service at which nineteen persons of 
both sexes who had been confirmed on the previous Sunday 
received the Holy Communion. At matins, which followed, 
the Church was crammed, and crowds stood outside, where 
they could both see and hear, this publicity contrasting with 
the Roman practice. The understanding that all should be 
silent during worship was adhered to. A Christian, formerly 
a Mohammedan of some means, and another, who had been a 
Taoist, read the lessons. The Bible, an Oriental Book both in 
imagery and thought, is enjoyed and understood by Orientals, 
but I doubt much if it will be possible or even desirable to 
perpetuate the Prayer Book as it stands. . . . 

The China Inland Mission has some very humble Chinese 
houses built round two compounds, in which two married 
couples, three bachelors, and, in the Bishop's house, two ladies 
were living, and at some distance off there is a ladies' house 
occupied by five ladies. There are several guest-halls for 
Chinese visitors, class and school-rooms, porters' and servants' 
rooms. The furniture is all Chinese, and the whitewashed walls 
are decorated with Chinese scrolls chiefly. 

I never saw houses so destitute of privacy, or with such 
ceaseless coming and going. Life there simply means work, 
and work spells happiness apparently, for the workers were all 
cheerful, and even jolly. Studying Chinese, preaching, teach- 
ing, advising, helping, guiding, arranging, receiving, sending 
forth, doctoring, nursing and befriending make the Mission 
compounds absolute hives of industry. It was a great draw- 
back that medical help was nearly three hundred miles off, and 
that the one trained nurse in the two Missions was not ubi- 
quitous. Much needless suffering and risk to life were the 
results. Happily in one of the beautiful suburbs, a noble 
Chinese mansion, a palace in size and solidity, was for sale for 
an old song, the half of which was purchased, and after under- 
going alterations, was opened a few months after my visit with 
a mandarin's procession and great ceremony as the " Henrietta 
Bird Memorial Hospital " the men's department under Dr. 
Pruen, a physician of ten years' Chinese experience, and the 
women's under Miss Gowers, who also had considerable ex- 
perience. The other half and a separate courtyard adjoining 
have been bought for a dwelling for the Bishop, where he may 
carry on his work with fewer interruptions. 


But the Bishop's work was by no means confined 
to his station, but entailed almost ceaseless travelling. 
Indeed, if it were necessary to summarise his activities 
in two phrases they would be "in journeyings oft " 
and " in constant correspondence ". A third phrase, 
however, would be essential, namely, " in prayer with- 
out ceasing ". Three brief paragraphs from the report 
of his first six months in the Diocese as Bishop will 
illustrate this point. 

Our constant prayer [he wrote] is now based upon the 
promise " Thou shalt see greater things than these ", and we 
do not forget that the promise was made to one who was : 

(1) Willing to learn. 

(2) An Israelite who had power with God. 

(3) And yet, unlike Israel, was free from guile, and lastly 
was a man of ready faith, quick to own the Lord as King. 

We are seeking to observe the conditions that we may 
inherit the promise. . . . 

About my own work I need not say much. I have spent 
sixty-five days (besides Sundays resting) in travelling during 
this half year covering no less than six thousand li 1 in the pro- 
vince itself. My journeyings have taken me to Wanhsien twice, 
nine hundred li to the south-east ; to Sintu, six hundred and 
fifty li to the west ; Chungpa, four hundred li north-west ; 
and Kwangyuan, three hundred and fifty li north, etc. etc. 

I have been in constant correspondence with the workers 
in all the stations, which has involved my writing [with his own 
hand] some four hundred letters during the half year, and often 
having two or three messengers out in different directions. 

This report is not exceptional but characteristic of 
many. It is practically impossible to convey to the 
reader that sense of strenuous living which Bishop 
Cassels' correspondence for forty years reveals. For 
many years all his letters were written with his own 
hand, written frequently late at night when weary and 
half asleep. Sometimes he actually found himself 
nodding, and apologised for words omitted in con- 

1 Chinese mile or the third of an English mile. 


sequence. And as for travelling, probably few mission- 
aries have for so long a period continued such arduous 
journeys as he did right up to the end. One or two 
brief illustrations from letters of this period must 
suffice to show the man as Bishop of the Diocese, 
Superintendent of the China Inland Mission work, 
Examiner in the Chinese language, arranging for 
furloughs, caring for the churches and stations, 
struggling with business details, engaged in purchase 
of property, and in the examination of Chinese Deeds, 
with many other details of almost infinite variety. 

As to myself [he writes Mr. Stevenson] I think I must say 
something. I had intended to tell Mr. Taylor when I saw him 
that I did not see how I could keep on my superintendent's 
work, but I failed to do so. 

However, since returning from Chungking I have felt the 
strain more than ever. During this fortnight I have had to 
write over eighty letters, besides look over examination papers, 
puzzle over Mission accounts, spend hours in interviewing 
missionaries and arranging the work of Chinese helpers, to say 
nothing of preaching several times in Chinese, and giving a 
number of English addresses, etc. etc. Now my programme 
for the next month is as follows : 

Feb. 22. Leave Paoning. 
23. T'ang-ch'ing-pa, baptisms, etc. 

" * \ Pachow, confirmations, etc. 

55 27. / 

Mar. 2. Peh-miao-ch'ang. Confirmations, etc. 

" f Sintientsi. Confirmations, etc. 

7. Back at Paoning for one day only. 

'] Chungpa. C.M.S. 

" I4< ) Mienchow. C.M.S. Committee, etc. 

1*7 ' ) 

Further movements not fixed. 

On this tour I shall have to walk about two thousand li, 
travelling generally at the rate of over one hundred li a day 
and the work awaiting me on my return is already staring me 




in the face. Meanwhile I am very conscious that I am failing 
to do justice to my episcopal work. The question then is, 
What would the Lord have me to do. 

A few months later he wrote again : 

Your very kind letters of May 24th and June loth are now 
before me. 

They reached me while I was visiting the C.M.S. stations, 
from which visitation I have only just returned here. 

Now I am applying myself to attend to over a hundred 
letters, which have accumulated during this journey. 

In all this correspondence and in his personal 
interviews there were inevitable elements which called 
for not a little circumspection, and at times entailed 
a heavy strain upon his energies. As a Bishop his 
responsibilities were over ecclesiastical matters, and 
not necessarily over Mission affairs, though in the case 
of the China Inland Mission he was also the Mission's 
Superintendent for the East Szechwan area, subject, 
of course, to the General Director. In the case of the 
Church Missionary Society there was a secretary on 
the field for Mission matters. With so much border 
territory an unintentional clash of authority would have 
been easy enough. The spirit in which he sought to 
avoid any possibility of this is revealed in the opening 
sentences of his first letter to Mr. Hudson Taylor 
after his arrival at Paoning as Bishop. 

PAONING, February nth, 1896. I constantly feel how much 
I lost by not seeing you at the coast. But there seemed no 
alternative ; unless, indeed, we had delayed some months, 
which would hardly have been right. 

I feel very anxious that the devil should not be allowed to 
use my not having met you to stir up any misunderstandings 
or want of confidence. 1 So often a little face to face talk will 

1 Bishop Cassels knew that one honoured member of the Mission had 
resigned in consequence of his Consecration as Bishop, believing that the 
Mission was departing from its original simplicity. 


do a great deal towards removing mists that hang about when 
nothing else will do so. 

It is nothing actual, but only a vague indefinite fear that 
makes me write thus. I will, however, rest in the Lord about 
it that He will take all into His own loving hands and anticipate 
the " accuser of the brethren ". The love of my fellow- workers 
here is very cheering, and my dear brother, Mr. Williams, has 
been everything to me during this week. I don't know what 
it would have been without him. 

In the same letter, when referring to a serious 
difficulty which he knew confronted him in Szechwan, 
he wrote : 

But this was to be expected, and when I yielded myself 
not without a long hesitation to what I could not but regard 
as the call of God, I knew what I had to face. . . . 

Oh to be made a help and a blessing and be enabled to draw 
together God's people. 

Incidentally it is instructive to note that he thinks 
the two most useful qualifications in a missionary are 
to be " sturdy and sensible ", and nothing moved him 
more than to see grace triumph when human nature 
had been tried. " Tears ran down my cheeks ", he 
wrote, " as I heard pray." 

Life to him was a serious business, but occasionally 
a little pleasantry or gentle sarcasm relieved the gravity 
of his correspondence. 

Thanks for your kind hint to go slowly [he wrote Mr. 
Stevenson] with regard to Shunking. We certainly have not 
been going very fast during the last eight or ten years ! ! 

Some did think that to buy [a house] might accelerate the 
pace, and there were some offers to sell, but Mr. Cooper warned 
us against this last year. So we will keep jogging on at the 
old pace for the present ! ! ! Of course, it is not quite so 
pleasant for married people to live in an inn as for single 
brethren, but then it certainly would be a pity to go too fast, 
especially in China ! ! 

These glimpses of the Bishop at work cannot be 
better supplemented than by quoting part of his first 


annual letter to the Church Missionary Society, in 
which he not only summarises his various activities but 
explains why he continued to make the China Inland 
Mission station of Paoning the centre of the diocese. 

PAONING, December jth, 1896. The record I have to give 
is only that of an incomplete year of ten months. For though 
it is just a year since our party landed in Shanghai, it was two 
months later before I reached this distant field of labour. 

It seems right to make this place my centre, for apart from 
my connection with the China Inland Mission, and apart from 
the fact that I had already lived and worked here for some years, 
there were the following considerations before me : 

(1) This is at present the natural centre of the work which 
is growing up in this new diocese, speaking both from a geo- 
graphical and also from a work point of view. No other 
station can compare with it in this respect. The other stations 
all circle round Paoning, most of them being at a distance of 
from four to seven days' journey away in various directions, 
N.S.E. or W. only one is really nearer, and only one a good 
deal further off. 

(2) There is, comparatively speaking, a sufficiently strong 
staff of local workers here to carry on the work without my 
help which would not be the case in any other station so 
that I am free for the work of visiting the stations, which has 
up till now occupied nearly all my time, and which is likely to 
do so still. 

(3) There are also other advantages in making this my centre. 
It is the oldest and largest station in the diocese, there is more 
house accommodation, and almost the only Mission Church 
yet erected in the diocese, and thus it is the best place for gather- 
ing together on special occasions either the missionary workers 
or the Chinese helpers. 

In taking up the work of this newly formed diocese there 
has naturally been much work which cannot be easily or con- 
veniently recorded in such a letter as this, and it has been 
necessary, and will be necessary, to spend much time at the 
Master's feet seeking for needed (and for promised ah ! there 
is the blessed thing !) spiritual power, wisdom, and a right 
judgment in all things. 

Neither is it altogether easy to separate off the work done 
directly for the C.M.S. stations, which should be recorded here, 
from the general work of the whole diocese. I might, indeed, 
recount in detail, as I have already done in previous letters, 
my two visitations of the C.M.S. stations, which occupied the 



months of April and October. I might describe my journeys 
sometimes hindered by drenching rain, sometimes prospered 
by cheering sunshine. I might tell of meetings and services 
held at each station with the missionaries, and blessed gather- 
ings with the Lord at the Holy Table ; of instruction given to 
the Christians already gathered at two of the stations, or of 
examination of catechumens coming forward at several of them. 
But as the work in this part of the diocese is yet quite in its 
elementary stages, of direct episcopal acts I have little to 
record. . . . 

It would have been interesting to turn aside from my own 
individual work to trace the progress of the whole work and 
describe its present position ; but this duty falls rather upon 
the Secretary of the Mission, who has already undertaken it in 
past years. 

I have held sixteen confirmations, confirming altogether 
156 Christians. To do this I have had to travel 3262 miles, 
spending in my journeys 103 days, not including a number of 
Sundays when I rested. 

In conclusion I would say that, while I have found increas- 
ing encouragement in the work as the months have gone past, 
and whilst I have been very conscious of the presence of my 
Master all through the year ; yet it must be evident that in 
this new and distant diocese there are many special difficulties 
of a peculiar nature to contend against ; so I would earnestly 
beg for the continued prayers of God's people that the great 
Pilot would Himself steer us safely through the rocks and reefs 
which abound on all sides, and thus enable us to apply ourselves 
unhindered to the great work before us in this vast, dark region, 
and that thus souls may be saved, our Master's Name glorified, 
and many true witnesses raised up for the further extension 
of His Kingdom. 

In addition to all the local details that of necessity 
devolved upon the Bishop there were the claims of the 
Church's larger outlook. Although he had travelled 
over three thousand miles in Szechwan during 1896 he 
recognised the duty of attending the United Conference 
of Bishops which was to meet in Shanghai in the spring 
of 1897, though this involved another journey of some 
four thousand miles. Happily his presence in Shanghai 
would also allow him to attend the April Council 
Meetings of the China Inland Mission. 


My wife [he writes towards the close of February 1897], 
goes down with me as we are to take our little Jessie. 1 We 
are travelling with Miss Lloyd and Miss Kolkenbeck, and 
expect to pick up two or three C.M.S. sisters at Chungking 
who are going on furlough. May all our meetings be for the 
glory of God. 

Not only did this long river journey afford a wel- 
come relief from the strenuous routine of his normal 
activities a welcome change also to Mrs. Cassels after 
nursing her infant daughter Dorothy through small- 
pox but it brought Bishop Cassels for the first time 
into happy and helpful fellowship with Bishops G. E. 
Moule, C. P. Scott, C. J. Corfe, and F. R. Graves, 
in important discussions on the following subjects : 
The subdivision of existing dioceses of the Anglican 
Church in China, Manchuria, and Korea ; the relation 
of the American and English branches of the Church 
in China ; the best Chinese term to use for Christianity ; 
a common Chinese formula for Holy Baptism, and 
common terms for the three orders of the Holy 
Ministry ; Church discipline and the sanctity of the 
Lord's Day. 

1 Jessie Cassels was going in all probability to the C.I.M. school for 
missionaries' children at Chefoo. 


O, what owe I to the file, to the hammer, to the furnace of my 
Lord Jesus ! Why should I start at the plough of my Lord, that 
maketh deep furrows on my soul ? I know He is no idle husband- 
man. He purposeth a crop. SAMUEL RUTHERFORD. 

THE journey up the higher reaches of the Yangtze is 
always arduous ; it consists of one prolonged contest 
against strong currents and dangerous rapids. Bishop 
Cassels, returning from the Bishops' Conference, found 
it specially slow and trying, for famine having gripped 
Szechwan, trackers were only allowed to haul rice 
junks westwards. And the journey was typical of what 
was to follow. In more ways than one stream and 
tide were against him, and fortitude and patience were 
to be severely tested. 

Right at the outset two young workers died, Messrs. 
Otley and Wrigley, " the latter being ", the Bishop 
said, " the strongest, the brightest, the most even- 
minded and promising of all our workers ". Then 
persecution broke out in one of the stations, and a 
zealous leader named Hu, who had opened his home 
for Gospel work, became a real martyr for the faith, 
for he was cruelly strangled to death. Rioting also 
occurred at Shunking more than once, and Paoning was 
also seriously threatened. The sickness of valued 
workers was another added trial, for the Bishop gave 
unfailing thought to any thus afflicted. 

Miss F. M. Williams [he writes] is dangerously ill. Owing 
partly to a sort of intuition that she was worse I got the 



Doctor to write some instructions and sent medicines yesterday 
morning. Then came worse news, and I arranged for Miss 
Arnott to go. She started at 4 o'clock this morning. Later 
on more alarming news came to hand, and I felt it would not be 
right to spare any effort, and so now Dr. Pruen has gone. I 
had already started out on my way to the C.M.S. stations, but 
the bad news brought me back. 

Then came painful criticisms from one of the 
stations, a station which had been more upon his heart 
than most, and to help which he had made special 
efforts. He was still " in journeyings oft ", travelling, 
on an average, over a thousand miles every quarter, by 
foot, chair, or pony, and was always snowed under with 
correspondence when he returned home. 

In the midst of these labours, when on one of his 
journeys, he met the courier with the mails, among 
which were letters and papers from home. " As cold 
water to a thirsty soul so is good news from a far 
country ", says the proverb, but what shall be said of 
news from a far country which is not good ! for this 
mail brought tidings, affecting him personally, of 
public criticism in Church papers at home. As he 
opened The Record for December 17, 1897, he read : 

Statements are current in England in regard to the relations 
of the China Inland Mission to the Church of England and 
her principles, which ought no longer to be made merely in 

The Record, believing that rumours unchallenged 
were injurious, then proceeded to set forth five separate 
charges made against the China Inland Mission, of 
which those that mainly concerned the Bishop were 
that the China Inland Mission, though undenomina- 
tional in principle, was distinctly denominational in 
practice ; that pressure was brought to bear upon its 
missionaries and converts to accept teaching directly 
antagonistic to the doctrines and practices of the 


Church of England ; and further, that Holy Orders 
were ignored. 

These charges and others were answered in the 
next issue of The Record by the Rev. E. O. Williams, 
who happened to be on furlough, but in the issue of 
the same paper for January 7, 1898, appeared a far 
more serious letter from the Rev. J. C. Hoare, sub- 
sequently Bishop of Victoria, in which the following 
astounding assertion was made : 

My own deliberate conviction, based both upon informa- 
tion and personal observation, is that, as a general rule, member- 
ship of the China Inland Mission and loyalty to the Church 
of England are incompatible. 

In making such an indictment Mr. Hoare did not 
say he had never visited the Western China Diocese, 
nor did he appear to recognise that his statement was 
a direct condemnation of Bishop Moule and others for 
having nominated a China Inland missionary to the 
Archbishop for consecration. But we are here mainly 
concerned with Bishop Cassels' reply. 

At this great distance [he wrote to a friend] one is at a 
a great disadvantage in attempting to answer a correspondence 
going on in England. But I did write a hurried note from a 
wayside inn when I met the mail messenger to challenge the 
former statement [the sentence quoted above], which is an 
imputation on one half of my diocese. 

In The Record for May 27, 1898, the following 
letter from Bishop Cassels appeared : 

SIR Your issue of January 7th containing some correspond- 
ence with reference to the China Inland Mission in its relation 
to the Church of England has just reached me. 

Though I am in the midst of engrossing visitation work, 
and now starting out on an eight days' journey to the next 
station, I must find time to protest against one statement in the 
letter of the Rev. J. C. Hoare. 

I recognise the kind tone of that letter, and some of his 
suggestions are well worthy of consideration. But on behalf 


of over a score of loyal members of the Church of England who 
are working in my diocese in connection with the C.I.M. I 
must earnestly protest against the statement that " as a general 
rule membership of the C.I.M. and loyalty to the Church of 
England are incompatible ". 

Mr. Hoare's " personal observations " extend to some 
quondam members of the Church of England who are scattered 
over the stations of the C.I.M., and who probably never had 
any attachment to the Church. 

But I very much fear that the statement will be understood 
to refer to that larger number of bona fide members of our 
Church who are working in the diocese of Western China. 

Mr. Hoare seems to support his statement with two argu- 

First, the missionary is for a time placed in circumstances 
where " he has neither Church services nor ordained clergy ". 

Surely I need hardly stop to ask if it is surprising that, in a 
vast field like this, lay Churchmen cannot always secure the 
privileges they would desire. Did Mackay always have his 
Church services and ordained clergy ready to hand in Uganda ? 
Has no lay missionary in N.W. America ever been left without 
properly administered Sacraments ? 

Certainly,, when the work of this new diocese was committed 
to me, I found lay missionaries of the C.M.S. who had been 
for a full year without the Holy Communion. 

Second, the missionary is open to the attacks of pugnacious 
Baptists. Well, I have yet to learn that freedom from attack 
is a test of loyalty to a cause. 

Twelve years ago, the late Archbishop declared that the 
steady consistent work which the Churchmen in the C.I.M. 
would do would commend their principles to others. 

I believe that time has proved the justice of his remark. 
Our Church has a place in the C.I.M. just as it has in those 
other organisations which are composed of Churchmen and 
Nonconformists, and if time permitted I could show it has 
already offered an important testimony to certain truths which 
we regard as vital. I should deeply regret if the correspond- 
ence in The Record should hinder Churchmen from the privilege 
of having a share in one of the most remarkable missionary 
movements of the day. 

The cure for some of the evils which Mr. Hoare indicates 
is, that the clergy of our Evangelical Churches at home should 
be more careful that those young men and women of their 
flocks who are filled with missionary zeal, should be instructed 
in the Scriptural doctrines of the Ministry and Sacraments. 


There are many Churchmen, who for various reasons would 
not be accepted by the C.M.S., or, preferring the principles 
of the C.I.M. would not apply to it [the C.M.S.]. If this 
correspondence should hinder such from coming out in a 
Mission like the C.I.M. upon which God has so manifestly 
set His seal, then the source of supply for more than half the 
stations in my diocese would cease, and the work carried on 
in loyal adherence to the Church of England in a vast and 
populous district would languish for want of workers. 

May I not rather hope that as a result of this correspondence 
fresh interest will be aroused in the work of our Church in the 
far west of China, whether in connection with the C.M.S. or 

Bishop in Western China. 
March 28, 1898. 

In The Record for July 15, 1898, appeared another 
lengthy letter from Bishop Cassels which must be 
To the Editor of The Record. 

SIR I see from the papers which are just reaching me that 
you are publishing further correspondence on the above 

Now it must be evident that the matter is one which 
touches me very closely perhaps more closely than any other 

1. I have been for more than twelve years a member of 

the C.I.M., and for half that time have acted as one 
of its Superintendents with a seat on the Council of 
the Mission. 

2. Six of my clergy are also members of the C.I.M. 

3. More than half the stations in my diocese are manned 

with C.I.M. missionaries to the number of over 
thirty workers in all. 

4. The C.I.M. has as regards its own work, which is now 

covering the whole of the interior of China, set apart 
a district, nearly as large as England itself, which is 
only to be worked by members of the Church of 
England. This district is not only under my Episcopal 
control as being part of my diocese, but is also, as 
regards Mission matters, under my superintendence. 
It will not then be surprising if I wish to add something to 
this correspondence. 


1 . It is an undeniable and most regrettable fact that Church- 
men connected with the C.I.M. have been re-baptized, but 
this is to be accounted for by the strong reactionary tide which 
is clearly marked in England (witness, for instance, the number 
of tracts recently published in defence of infant baptism) 
against the careless way in which this Sacrament is some- 
times administered. The force of this tide is also felt in the 
C.I.M., but it is unfair to charge that Mission with being the 
origin of it. 

2. It is an undeniable fact that Churchmen connected with 
the C.I.M. may for a time be placed in circumstances where, 
as Mr. Hoare says, " they have neither Church services nor 
ordained clergy ". Surely it must be unnecessary to point 
out that this must be the case in all pioneer missionary work. . . 

3. It is an undeniable fact that in many parts of China 
there are mission stations connected with the C.I.M. in which 
unordained men administer the Sacrament. This is simply 
to say that the C.I.M. is, as is well-known, an interdenomina- 
tional Mission, and that there are Plymouth Brethren connected 
with it who are allowed to follow their own lines in their own 

4. The charge that " as a general rule membership of the 
C.I.M. and loyalty to the Church of England are incompatible " 
is a most serious one to make. It may be that this charge 
refers to some so-called members of the Church of England who, 
coming out to China, refuse to join the Church work and connect 
themselves with some Nonconformist station. It is perfectly 
evident that these cannot be loyal to the Church for they do 
not belong to it. For I can hardly believe that such a charge 
as this should have been directed against those who have joined 
the Church of England district of the C.I.M. and are workers 
in my diocese, holding my licence, and under my observation 
and control. . . . 

This is not the time to hinder Churchmen (who would not 
perhaps be accepted by the C.M.S. or who do not apply to it) 
from joining a work which is now extending widely over the 
whole of the interior of China. . . . The prospect is most 
stimulating. But I ask, is this work to be left entirely for 
others, and is our Church to have no share in it ? Are Church- 
men to hold off because they fear that they may somewhere 
or other encounter a dear Baptist brother who is a little indis- 
creet or narrow-minded, or because before they can reach that 
diocese in the Far West to which they will be designated 
(unless they beg to go elsewhere) they may have to forego some 
of their Church privileges, and to join in prayer meetings led 


by good Wesleyans or Plymouth Brothers ? If so, the time 
will surely come (if the Lord tarry) when we shall see more and 
more what we already see so largely to our shame be it said 
strong and flourishing Nonconformist Churches all over the 
inland provinces of China, alongside of the numerous Roman 
Catholic Churches which already exist, but as regards all these 
provinces the representatives of our own Church nowhere to 
be seen. W. W. CASSELS, 

Bishop in Western China. 
May 6, 1898. 

It was not unnatural that this correspondence in 
The Record should be taken up by The Guardian. In 
The Guardian for July 20, 1898, Bishop Cassels' second 
letter given above was reproduced, and in the next 
issue appeared a leading article on the China Inland 
Mission, from which the following sentences are taken : 

If we may judge from the controversy which has been going 
on for some time concerning the C.I.M. and from the very 
remarkable letter of the Bishop in West China, which we 
reprinted last week from The Record, it would seem as though 
English Churchmen, when they find themselves at a distance 
from the law-abiding association of the mother country, were 
accustomed to disregard altogether some of the most funda- 
mental laws and customs of the Church. 

The C.I.M. is described by Bishop Cassels, in the same 
letter as that in which he calls himself one of its " Super- 
intendents ", as an " interdenominational Mission ". This 
appalling designation has, we presume, some shade of meaning 
to distinguish it from our familiar acquaintance " undenomina- 
tional ", though we are not subtle enough to detect it ; at all 
events, Dr. Cassels' position seems to be rather a strange one 
for an Anglican Bishop. He draws a distinction which 
perhaps may throw some light on the situation between the 
" Episcopal control " which he exercises over a district, as being 
a part of his diocese, and his " superintendence " of the same 
district as part of the sphere entrusted to the C.I.M. or, more 
accurately, appropriated by that remarkable organisation. . . . 

We hope that some more satisfactory explanation than 
Bishop Cassels has given will be forthcoming from the C.M.S., 
which reckons Western China as part of its sphere of action, 
and the Bishop as one of its missionaries. 


Owing to Bishop Cassels' distance from the scene 
of this controversy and the challenge to the Church 
Missionary Society made in the closing lines of The 
Guardian's leader, Dr. Eugene Stock replied, feeling 
it a duty to an absent friend to endeavour to remove 
some evident misconceptions. 

SIR I hold no brief for the China Inland Mission, or for 
Bishop Cassels ; and as for the C.M.S. it is not quite like the 
Guardian's usual line to suggest that a society is responsible 
for a Bishop's sayings or doings ! 

But Bishop Cassels is a very long way off, and it does not 
seem quite fair to leave him to be misunderstood for lack of a 
few words of explanation. Suffer, therefore, a few lines. 

1. The China Inland Mission is an " interdenominational " 
body. This " appalling designation ", as you call it, has a 
definite and perfectly intelligible meaning. " Undenomina- 
tional " is a word which has now unfortunate associations with 
school board controversies, and suggests that (say) the doctrine 
of the Trinity is to be suppressed. But " interdenominational " 
is quite different. It means that a Churchman may join the 
Mission and work on Church lines, and that a Wesley an or 
Baptist may do the like. 

2. Whether a Mission based on such lines is desirable or 
commendable is another question. Probably most of your 
readers would say it is not. I certainly am not disposed to 
enter the lists on the other side. In point of fact it is an obvious 
disadvantage to the C.M.S. that there should be Missions of 
the kind attracting the services of Evangelical Church people, 
who, if there were no such Missions, might very probably join 
our ranks ; in which case we should try and make them better 
Churchmen before sending them out. At the same time we 
feel that the whole missionary cause in England, and not least 
in the Church of England, owes so much to the zeal and 
devotion of Mr. Hudson Taylor and his associates in spreading 
a missionary spirit, that we can only regard the C.I.M., in this 
respect at least, with thankful appreciation. I do not hesitate 
to say that the recent widespread awakening regarding Missions, 
even in sections of Churchmen quite outside the direct influence 
of Mr. Taylor, is in no small degree due to his indirect influence 
and that of the C.I.M., though it would take too much space to 
adduce evidence of this. 

3. Now Bishop Cassels was one of those Churchmen who 
originally went to China in connection with the C.I.M. He 


was one of the famous " Cambridge Seven " who went out 
in 1885, an d whose going out was one of the starting points 
of the increased missionary interest of the last ten or twelve 
years. In China he was stationed in an immense and populous 
district in the furthest interior. That district has been allotted 
by the C.I.M. to its Church of England members. In that 
district the C.I.M. is as truly a Church of England Mission 
as the Missions in Uganda or Japan. The Sacraments are 
duly administered by the clerical members ; the baptized 
converts and children are prepared for confirmation ; the 
Church services are those of the Prayer-book. That this 
is so is largely due to Mr. Cassels, who became, in due course, 
the appointed leader of this branch of the C.I.M. He and the 
other clergy were duly licensed by Bishop Moule, in whose 
nominal jurisdiction that remote province lay. 

4. Circumstances led the C.M.S., a few years later, to start 
a Mission in another part of the same province. This also was 
nominally under the episcopal supervision of Bishop Moule, 
but the distance was too great for him to leave his work in the 
coast provinces to visit it. We therefore sought means of 
providing more episcopal supervision. Mr. Cassels, though 
not our missionary, was obviously the best man ; and we 
suggested to Archbishop Benson a plan for appointing him 
Bishop over both the C.M.S. Mission and the Church of 
England section of the C.I.M. in that province. Archbishop 
Benson took a warm interest in the scheme, thoroughly under- 
stood and approved it, and expressed himself specially pleased 
with Mr. Cassels when he saw him personally. In due course 
Mr. Cassels was consecrated, the C.M.S. guaranteeing the 

5. You speak of " Bishop Cassels' diocese or district, or 
whatever he likes to call it ". All the arrangements were made 
by Archbishop Benson's legal secretaries, and the " diocese " 
is on exactly the same footing as (say) Bishop Scott's in North 

6. When Bishop Cassels distinguishes between his functions 
as Bishop and his functions as superintendent of the C.I.M. 
in his province, he refers to the detailed administration of the 
Mission, which in the case of Church Missions in other parts 
of the world is not necessarily, nor usually, in the hands of a 
Bishop. Thus, the Bishop of Calcutta exercises " Episcopal 
control " over the Oxford Mission, but he does not conduct 
the details of administration. Your comments on this point, 
allow me to say, reveal some lack of acquaintance with the 
details of missionary work. 


7. The irregularities you refer to do not occur in Bishop 
Cassels' diocese. That was the whole point of his letter. 
Complaints were made of Churchmen in the C.I.M. not acting 
loyally. His reply was and is, " I take care these things do not 
occur in my diocese. Do not let them prevent loyal Church- 
men coming to me." It is quite true that there are Church- 
people with little knowledge of Church principles in the C.I.M. 
as there are in several other interdenominational Missions at 
home and abroad. But it is hard to blame Bishop Cassels 
for this, when he is acting as a strict and loyal Churchman in 
not at all easy circumstances. Of course I am not suggesting 
blame for the other Bishops in China. A good many of the 
irregular Church laymen are in the area comprised in Bishop 
Scott's diocese, but he, I need not say, has no cognisance of 

8. Of course you may fairly object to any intelligent Church- 
men joining the C.I.M. at all. That is an intelligible position. 
I repeat that the C.M.S. has no special interest in their doing 
so rather the contrary. But the fact is that they do ; and if 
they do, Churchmen ought to be glad that so true and loyal a 
man, as Bishop Cassels, is there, at least iri one province, to 
guide and superintend them. EUGENE STOCK. 

Church Missionary Society, 
Salisbury Square, London, E.G. 
July 28, 1898. 

That Bishop Cassels, like every Bishop, had his 
local difficulties goes without saying, but they were not 
limited to one side of his diocese only. To put the 
interdenominational principles of the China Inland 
Mission a young and growing organisation into 
practice needed and received most watchful care and 
oversight. And it was with not a little sorrow and pain 
to him as Bishop that the Rev. J. H. Horsburgh of the 
Church Missionary Society, who, to quote the Church 
Missionary Intelligencer of January 1899, nac ^ " f r 
some years felt a conscientious difficulty in accepting 
an episcopal licence . . . retired from his connection 
with that Society ". 

The spirit in which the Bishop sought to exercise 


his Church and Mission responsibilities in this and 
other matters is perhaps best revealed by the following 
words from a private letter written in the midst of these 

God knows how earnestly I try to be a help and a blessing 
. . . and in some letters written recently I have been down 
before the Lord on my knees at every page I have written. 


When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee ; 
and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee ; when thou 
walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned ; neither shall the 
flame kindle upon thee. ISAIAH xliii. 2. 

As the nineteenth century drew towards its close the 
anti-foreign spirit in China rapidly headed up to the 
climax of the Boxer tragedy. The coup d'etat of 1898, 
the occupation of Port Arthur by the Russians, Kiao- 
chow by the Germans, and Wei-hai-wei by the British, 
with other factors, inflamed the passions of the people 
generally, and Szechwan was not exempt from the 
growing fury. During 1898 at least three Mission 
stations in the province were destroyed by riots, and 
in the West China Diocese two missionaries only saved 
their lives by taking refuge in the Yamen, while one 
Chinese worker was brutally killed, and others seriously 
injured. These were, however, isolated and inde- 
pendent acts of violence like passing summer storms. 

To these outbursts [wrote the Bishop], terrible as they 
sometimes are, we have been getting more accustomed ; but 
whilst I am now writing there rests upon us the dark shadow 
of an unparalleled and fully organised anti-Christian outbreak, 
which has set before it no less an aim than the sweeping of 
Christianity out of the province, and which seems, humanly 
speaking, armed with sufficient power to accomplish its purpose. 
I say humanly speaking, for we have a restful assurance that 
this cloud is big with blessings, and that God will work out His 
purposes for the evangelisation of this region even through this 
threatened evil. 



The leader of this movement was an old offender 
named Yii, who speedily gained for himself the title of 
" Man-tze ", or the fierce one. Having been worsted 
in an encounter with the French Roman Catholics he 
gathered together a well- drilled, armed and uniformed 
band of followers, and entered upon a campaign against 
the Christians, the Roman Catholics at first being his 
objective. Many of their chapels were destroyed, the 
homes of their followers burned, their lands and posses- 
sions confiscated, and thousands rendered destitute. 

It was in the midst of these anxious conditions that 
the Bishop's third son Harold was born on November 4, 
1898, but neither the attractions and claims of home 
nor the perils of the road deterred the Bishop from his 
visitation of the stations, from the Ordination of workers, 
or from being present at the first West China Confer- 
ence held at Chungking in January 1899, when Mr, 
and Mrs. Hudson Taylor and Mr. and Mrs. Charles 
Inwood were present. Dark as the outlook appeared, 
it was in the midst of these adverse circumstances that 
the Bishop contemplated extension and wrote home to 
the Church Missionary Society : 

If one of the main original ideas of this Western China 
Mission is to be carried out, our great need now is a band of 
men who would set evangelistic and itinerating work before 
themselves in a prominent way to the exclusion of other forms 
of work. . . . 

Before concluding I would venture once more to draw the 
attention of the Committee to that neglected part of this diocese 
which lies south of the Yangtze River and north of the twenty- 
eighth parallel of latitude. 

Has not the time come to make an effort to propagate the 
Gospel in that part of China ? 

Of the Conference it must suffice to say that some of 
its main results were the establishment of the West 
China Tract Society and of the West China 

u s 


O 2 


H -= 






News, and the founding of the West China Advisory 
Board of Reference and Co-operation, on which the 
Bishop served for many years. 

The Conference being concluded the Bishop delayed 
his departure hoping that Mr. Taylor might accompany 
him on a visit to Paoning, a hope not fulfilled owing 
to the illness of Mr. Taylor, but this delay probably 
spared the Bishop a painful experience suffered by Mr. 
Parsons, whose life was only saved on his journey by 
his jumping into deep water to escape the spear thrusts 
of some of Yii Man-tze's men. 

None the less, the Bishop only succeeded in reaching 
home by travelling disguised in Chinese dress, by 
advice of the Chinese authorities, his face being con- 
cealed by a hood or cowl such as the Chinese wear 
as a protection from wind and with his eyes covered 
by large horned spectacles. Even his coolies did not 
know who he was when they ventured into the danger 
zone, and no one guessed that this traveller, who spent 
the night in the Yamen in a room put at his disposal 
by the official, was a foreigner. Thus it was that he 
safely reached his home in Paoning. 

The pressure of work, which at this time burdened 
the Bishop's life, became almost overwhelming. He was 
still without stenographic help, though in this matter 
Mr. Aldis, who wrote shorthand, gave him occasional 
assistance. 1 A few extracts from the letters of this 
period will help to illustrate the strain under which he 
was labouring. 

My chief strain is the mass of correspondence which always 
awaits me on my return from more distant stations, preventing 
me giving my time to anything else. I believe a secretary of 
some kind would be a very great help. 

I have a new plan now before me which I intend to bring 

1 So concerned was Mrs. Cassels that in February 1899 she wrote to 
Shanghai expressing her fears of the Bishop's breakdown. 



in as an experiment if I go to the coast to the Bishops' Confer- 
ence, by which the district will be divided into three prefectural 
deaneries for ecclesiastical purposes, and by which part of my 
responsibilities will fall upon E. O. Williams for the Paoning 
prefecture ; A. E. Evans for Shunking ; and A. P. Turner for 
the Suiting prefecture, including Wanhsien. 

Wanhsien has been upon my heart day and night. Please 
turn up the map and reconsider its position, that you may 
afresh realise its importance. We must make a new effort 
for this place and district. . . . The devil knows its value, 
and has made a special attack upon our work there, causing 
quite a number of our missionaries who work there to leave, 
and so on. Is it not time we made a special effort to strengthen 
our forces here. I must not write more, but I believe that 
God's time has come for Wanhsien. 

It was at this time that his beloved friend, the 
Rev. E. O. Williams, died only six weeks after his 
arrival in his station after furlough. 

It is an unspeakable loss to us [wrote the Bishop] short- 
handed as we are. We feel most deeply for dear Mrs. Williams 
and her six fatherless children. 

A little later he wrote, " W. C. Taylor and family have left 
for the coast. I am surprised to find how ill he has been. I 
am now missionary-in-charge of this station ! ! ! " 

I am to have a clerical meeting here [he writes from 
Paoning] on March 3ist and following days. At the end of 
1898 I had nine clerical missionaries on the field, now I have 
three in the whole diocese. Of course, this means that all the 
more work falls on me. Then, too, I had no station work, 
now, I have to take charge of Paoning. Then, Aldis was help- 
ing in correspondence, now I have rather to help him, but the 
Lord does give help and rest in the midst of constant labours. 

Two months later he writes again : 

Now I have a number of Chinese helpers meeting here for 
classes, no one but myself to teach them, and yet letters, etc.. 
keep coming and other work goes on. 

Nearly a year later, when evidently depressed and 
tried, he wrote : 

For some time now I have been seeking to develop the 
Chinese Christian talent to a much larger degree. ... As to 


the question of superintendents, the difficulties are greater. 
Personally I feel the difficulties of my work more and more, 
and feel little able to continue the responsibilities, especially as 
I have few tokens from any source that my work is acceptable, 
and not a little on the other side. 

There may be undiscovered talents and grace and spiritual 
power among the younger men for this work. If so it should 
be sought for and appointments made, and I for one should be 
most thankful to be allowed to become an assistant to such an 
one, or to take a still more subordinate post anywhere. 

Meanwhile the unoccupied stations give me much work . . . 
Famine stares us in the face here and northward. 

In the midst of all this pressure he and Mrs. Cassels, 
with some of the children, visited Shanghai, that he 
might be present at the second Bishops' Conference, 
where questions connected with the Roman Catholics 
having claimed and obtained official status in China 
were under discussion. It was during this visit that he 
was detained in Shanghai through his eldest daughter's 
illness with typhoid fever. In a letter dated November 
29, 1899, he wrote to Bishop Talbot : 1 

Your kind letter finds me here at the coast this time. The 
long journey from the interior was undertaken that I might 
attend the second Episcopal Conference of the China Bishops. 

St. Luke's Day came in the middle of the session, and I was 
able to get a special Celebration in the Cathedral arranged for 
on that day. . . . 

Lately, at the instigation of a French Bishop at Peking, and 
owing to the support of the minister of the French Government, 
a definite and carefully graded status has been granted to the 
Bishops and Priests of the Roman Church by the French 
Government, so that the Bishop is placed on an equality with 
the Viceroy of a Province, and so on. . . . 

It was open to us to demand for ourselves the same political 
status, and, indeed, some of the Chinese higher officials take 
it for granted that it is ours by right. But we decided not to 
complicate our spiritual functions by the assertion of any such 

1 Having been consecrated together on St. Luke's Day 1895, at West- 
minster the two Bishops continued to exchange occasional letters, generally 
on the anniversary of their consecration. 


claim, and I lately had an opportunity, at the request of our 
presiding Bishop, of explaining this to the British Minister on 
his return to China. . . 

The chief difficulty I have to contend against just now is 
the fewness of my clerical missionaries. I have a large number 
of laymen some in minor orders and lady workers, but I am 
almost paralysed for lack of men in Holy Orders. The C.M.S. 
has been unable to help me, and other sources of supply have 
not produced anything. . . . 

I was trying to get some help at out Conference on the 
subject of the appointment and duties of Rural Deans, but 
strange to say I could get none 1 I do not know where to 
turn for it. 

It would be quite unfair to presume on the kindness of such 
a busy man as your Lordship for help. But if you should have 
any printed rules or blank forms that are used in connection 
with your Rural Deans, they would be a help to me if you 
would slip them into the post. 

I must close, but I would like to ask whether it is at all 
realised how small a proportion of the missionary work in 
China is being done by our Church ? Several of the Non- 
conformist Societies are individually doing a far larger work 
than the whole of the work done by all the Anglican Societies 
put together. Out of sixty thousand (Protestant) converts in 
full communion a few years ago not a tenth of them were in 
connection with the Anglican Church, and of all the non- 
Roman missionaries at work here certainly very far from a 
tenth of them belong to our Church. 

Is it not time that we began to wake up to our responsi- 
bilities with regard to a country like China ? 

It was early in the ever memorable year 1900 when 
Bishop Cassels again reached Paoning, and the perils of 
the Yii Man-tze's rebellion and other troubles were 
soon to be swallowed up in the cataclysm of the Boxer 
outbreak. But before we enter upon this heart-break- 
ing story reference must be made to a great personal 
sorrow which befell the Bishop. Only a few weeks 
before the martyrdoms of that terrible year began he 
received the sad news of the death of his mother, who 
was nearly eighty years of age, and all through the 
agonising months that followed he was sorely to miss 


the prayers and sympathy with which she had for so 
long surrounded him. 

The blow [he writes] is heavier than I could have 
imagined. It leaves such a gap. I shall no longer get those 
frequent letters so full of love and interest in all that concerned 
me. I can no longer count upon those prayers that were 
offered so unfailingly for me and mine, and the pivot which 
linked together the scattered members of the family has been 

But all this lifts one more heavenward to the place where 
she now is, with the Lord Whom she trusted so fully and on 
Whom she had long learned to cast every care. 

Yes, you have hit her character off when you say her thoughts 
were for others, not for herself. Her mission field was a wide 
one extending half round the world wherever her children and 
grandchildren were found. And her love and sympathy and 
prayers have saved many in this her parish from a fall, and 
cheered many under their burdens. 

The first mutterings of the Boxer storm began 
before the close of 1899, ^ ut & was not unt ^ tne spring 
of 1900 that serious concern was felt by the Legations 
at Peking. In the middle of May the threatening 
clouds burst, and outrage soon followed outrage with 
staggering rapidity. The full fury of this human 
tempest fell upon the north and east of China, and 
Szechwan was less seriously affected owing to the 
Viceroy having agreed with other viceroys of the lower 
Yangtze to disregard the orders from Peking. None 
the less in July after many of the missionaries and 
Chinese Christians had been massacred elsewhere, 
Bishop Cassels received a dispatch from the British 
Consul at Chungking calling upon those in his diocese 
to proceed with all possible speed to places of 

For himself the Bishop was fearless, yet he fully 
realised his responsibilities both toward his fellow- 
missionaries and the Chinese Church, as well as his 


obligations to the civil authorities. He therefore 
courteously told the Consul that he was communicating 
with the missionaries " that they might be ready for 
any emergency ", but he emphasised " the extreme 
seriousness of our leaving our posts of duty ". He 
urged the workers " not to be alarmed ", but to be 
prepared to " face the risks and dangers inseparable 
from our work " . " We have no wish " , he added , ' ' that 
the Consul should be responsible for our safety." 

Meanwhile West China was largely cut off from 
news. " We are in the happy position ", he wrote to 
Shanghai on July 31," of having no news almost. Our 
last mail went to the bottom of the river with five 
hundred taels." 

But to the missionaries in the diocese he wrote a 
long letter dated July 30, which we print in full as a 
revelation of the man in time of peril. 

MY DEAR FRIENDS Whether the present storm will pass 
over us quickly or not let us avail ourselves of its presence to 
drive home the lessons which it has to teach our dear converts. 

1. Let us continue to urge them increasingly to put more 
trust in the Lord and less in us, and to lean more entirely on 
Him especially in times of poverty and persecution. Such 
passages as Jeremiah xvii. 5-8 may well form the basis of our 
teaching on this matter. 

2. Let us not fail to point out the blessedness of suffering 
persecution for the Lord's sake. And here besides our Lord's 
own teaching i Peter will, no doubt, be the Book we shall turn 
to most frequently. 

3. I earnestly desire that we should use the present oppor- 
tunity to urge upon the Christians the duty of giving to the 
support of their own people who are entrusted with the 
Ministry of the Word, whether as Catechists or Evangelists. 
Let not the Diocesan Fund be forgotten at this time, rather 
let it be supported with fresh enthusiasm. Sufficient money 
is not yet coming in to support the one man whom it has pledged 
to support, and we ought to aim to support one extra man 
each year. 

May I ask for more constant offertories for this fund, and 
that the amounts collected should be sent to the Local Secretary 


here, or to the Treasurer of the Fund, Mr. Lawrence of 
Chungpa. It is Chinese money we want. 

As to ourselves up till now my conviction deepens that 
" our strength is to sit still ". 

Here is a precept for us, " Take heed and be quiet, fear not, 
neither be faint-hearted " (Isaiah vii. 4). 

Here is a promise. " Whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell 
safely and shall be quiet from fear of evil " (Proverbs i. 33). 

And here a subject for prayer. ' ' For all that are in authority, 
that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life " (i Timothy ii). 

A storm is bursting around us. We hear of it in the north 
and to some extent in the west, and now it is said that the 
clouds are gathering in the south. May we not agree to ask 
the Lord to keep us in peace in the centre of the storm taking 
such a word as Isaiah xxxii. 17-19 to justify our prayer : " My 
people shall dwell in quiet resting places when it shall hail." 

We are not called upon to criticise the action of others. 
Their circumstances are different, they have had other leadings, 
pressure has been brought to bear upon them, from which, 
I rejoice to say, we have been quite free up till now. 

Some of us may yet be called upon, for various reasons which 
are already apparent to me, to withdraw ourselves even as the 
Lord withdrew Himself of old. But for the majority of us 
there are, it seems to me, urgent reasons for remaining where 
we are. It is not merely our work that is at stake, but it is our 
testimony, our example, our consciences that may be affected 
by our leaving. 

It is not merely that we should be leaving our Christians 
unpastored at a time of persecution and danger (that might 
have its good side as well as its bad side), but this year there 
are nearly eighty little lambs only just admitted to the fold, 
besides a number seeking admittance, whose faith would be 
sorely tried were they to be left alone. 

Let us then bear in mind that our own safety is by no means 
the first thing to be considered at this time. 

One other word. Should the Lord allow any local dis- 
turbances our very best weapon under the Lord will be a calm 
spirit. Here too (all experience of Chinese crowds shows it) 
our " strength will be to sit still ". The Lord has much to 
teach us all this time. May our hearts be opened unto Him, 
and may we all be more than ever drawn to one another, so 
that we may with an undivided front face a common dange 

Commending you to the Lord's care and guidance, Believe 
me, Yours very faithfully in Christ, W. W. CASSELS, 



On the i ith of August he wrote again to Shanghai : 

The local officials have been putting great pressure on us 
to get away as fast as possible. This pressure, along with that 
of Dr. Parry, it has been impossible to resist. 

All the ladies left to-day by boat. Aldis and Hannah escort 
them in a separate boat. We remain for the present. 

Chungking sends us no news ; several mails with no letter 
and no news. This is very perplexing. All missionaries to 
the west of us seem to have left. We hang on the Lord for 

It was not long, however, before he was compelled 
most reluctantly to leave himself with his family. 

After great pressure from Consuls and native officials 
[he wrote to Bishop Talbot] I was at last compelled to leave 
the diocese in August last. But I was glad to be able to see 
all the missionaries safely off before I started with my family 
on that sad and anxious journey to the coast. We did not 
know whether we should see our converts or our Churches 
again, and would have much preferred to remain and face all 
danger with them. 

He does not mention that he suffered severely from 
high fever on his journey to Shanghai, but so he did, 
and during his three months at the coast his heart was 
always with his people in Szechwan. 

The months at Shanghai [he wrote to Bishop Talbot] 
were trying in many ways. I was, however (having obtained 
the kind assent of the Bishop of Mid China to perform this 
episcopal act within his jurisdiction) able to proceed with an 

The ordinations to which he refers were of the 
Revs. W. H. Aldis, A. A. Phillips, and W. Kitley, which 
took place in the Shanghai Cathedral on November 30, 
and a few days after this he took steamer for Ichang on 
his way back to his diocese, having engaged passages 
for a number of his fellow-workers in a small steamer 
built by a German company, which intended to attempt 


the trip up the Yangtze rapids. His purpose was to 
proceed ahead, the others following. 

I was expecting a wire at Ichang [he wrote to Mr. Stevenson 
when en route up river] re the Chungking steamer. You, 
dear friend, will be often in my prayers at this time. The 
Lord will, I believe, give abundant grace to you as well as to 
dear Hoste. ... I propose to take two brethren with me and 
the others can go to Chungking by the steamer. 

From Ichang he wrote : 

Arrived here Saturday afternoon. Prepared to go on at 
once. But Captain of gunboat very pressing that I should 
conduct services and administer Holy Communion on Christmas 
Day, and I felt this a duty and privilege that I could not refuse. 

The steamer arrived during the service amid crackers, etc., 
much to our disturbance. I find it is cheaper to go by steamer 
to Wanhsien than by boat. For this and other reasons it seems 
best now to go on by steamer. We go on board to-night : 
Boxing day. 

The trying experience which followed was one of 
those events which mark another Christmas season in 
the Bishop's life. Early on December 27 the powerful- 
engined, but ill-fated steamer, Suihsiang, started on her 
novel and experimental passage, and to all on board it 
was a new experience to attempt to navigate the Yangtze 
rapids by steam. By mid-day a distance usually 
demanding from three to five days, by Chinese house- 
boat had been covered, the first serious rapid had been 
successfully negotiated, but when attempting to ascend 
the second rapid the vessel struck a rock while going 
full steam ahead. Immediately the vessel began to 
sink by the bows, and a panic breaking out among the 
Chinese the two lifeboats attached to the steamer were 
capsized and many drowned. 

Most of the foreign passengers remained upon the 
upper deck until foothold became impossible. The 
Bishop stood in the midst of a group of some twelve 


missionaries at the stern of the vessel, long after the 
rudder was far out of water, without any sign of anxiety 
or excitement, commending all on board to God's safe 
keeping. Some then jumped into .the river, while 
others were saved by Chinese lifeboats which came to 
the rescue. 

When the various parties had reached the bank and 
had gathered together after not a little searching for 
one another for the ship had rapidly drifted before 
finally sinking they all stood together to render thanks 
to God for His mercies, and then in true apostolic 
fashion the Bishop began to gather sticks to make a 
fire, for being Christmas week it was cold, and nearly 
all had discarded most of their garments before taking 
the plunge into the water. After some delay a passing 
junk was hailed and a passage back to Ichang arranged, 
which port was reached at 3 o'clock next morning. 

At this point we may take up the Bishop's own 
description written from Ichang to Mr. Stevenson on 
New Year's Day, 1901 : 

May this New Year bring to you many new blessings and 
much joy in the Lord, even though they be wrapped up in 
coverings of gloom and sorrow, as they sometimes are. " Behind 
the frowning Providence He hides a smiling face. ..." 

I cannot help being full of gratitude for my preservation. 
I did not realise the gravity of the situation, and remained on 
board when others were crowding to the life-boats. At length 
the boats had all gone off and Hannah, Wupperfeld, Mr. 
Wigham and I with a few others remained astern with the 
Captain and First Officer. Then the Captain urged us to 
jump in off the sinking vessel, and Mr. Wigham and I did so, 
leaping from the upper deck which was now very high out of the 
water, as the bows went down. The Captain himself followed 
us soon after. We were picked up, but the Captain, though 
a strong swimmer, was seen to throw up his hands in the water 
and disappear. 

Everything, of course, was lost, some of us arrived here with 
barely a single garment of our own, and the first day we had 
to buy, at any price, to get coverings for our bodies. 


Showing native craft and a company of trackers engaged in pulling boats, not visible, 

up the rapids. 


The picture shows one of the small steamers, specially built for the purpose, going at full 
steam ahead up one of the rapids with the water pouring up over the bows of the vessel. 
This picture illustrates the force of water which has to be overcome. 

To face page 218. 


The Bishop proposed starting again as soon as 
possible, but as all monies and goods had been lost 
some delay was inevitable. Then came a wire from 
Shanghai : 

Peace terms accepted : we suggest you return here at once. 

It was a painful moment to the Bishop, he being in 
a strait betwixt two, the desire to be among the first to 
re-enter the diocese, and, on the other hand, the duty 
of going back to fetch his family and other workers. 
Mr. Aldis, who was with him, relates how, when the 
Bishop rose to read the telegram, his voice choked with 
emotion, and how, later, with deep feeling he said, " I 
feel I must return to Shanghai and bring up the rest 
of the party, and you will go on alone and have the 
privilege of being the first to get back to the diocese." 

Writing to Shanghai the Bishop said : 

I must confess that I fear being turned back from any path 
of duty and I am sorry not to lead the brethren back, so I do 
not altogether welcome the idea of being turned back just on 
the point of starting. 

But if there is, indeed, a good prospect of being able to bring 
my family back with me, and of making arrangements for others 
to return, then it is far better to go back from here than to have 
to go back all the way in a few months' time. The early spring 
is the best season to go up the river, and that time is approach- 
ing. The Changho leaves to-day, but I will, at any rate, wait 
for the Kzvaili which leaves to-morrow or Saturday, that will 
give me time to see if there is any other guidance, and also to 
make arrangements with the brethren as to their movements. 
The Lord guide me and us all. 

The brethren went forward, the Bishop returned to 
Shanghai, but finally with his family safely reached 
Paoning early in April 1901, and was greatly rejoiced to 
be there in time for Easter and Holy Week, and to find 
how stable and true the Christians had been. 

On May 18 Ethelinda, his youngest child, was born. 


Thus saith the Lord of hosts : It shall yet come to pass, that 
there shall come peoples, and the inhabitants of many cities : and 
the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go 
speedily to intreat the favour of the Lord, and to seek the Lord of 
hosts : I will go also. 

Yea, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the 
Lord of Hosts in Jerusalem, and to intreat the favour of the Lord. 

Thus saith the Lord of hosts : In those days it shall come to pass, 
that ten men shall take hold, out of all the languages of the nations, 
shall even take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We 
will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you. 

ZECHARIAH viii. 20-23. 

WITH his return to West China Bishop Cassels entered 
upon one of the most strenuous periods of his strenuous 
career. For the next two or three years he literally 
spent himself night and day in labours more abundant. 
The Boxer crisis was followed by open doors on every 
hand. In the strong reaction which succeeded the days 
of persecution China's conservative notions gave place 
to progressive ideals. There was a rapid expansion in 
the foreign settlements at the coast, great developments 
in railways in the country, and at the same time a 
remarkable willingness on the part of the people to be 
taught and to hear the Gospel. 

People are asking us [the Bishop wrote] to open stations 
in several places, and all down from here to Wanhsien there 
is a remarkable movement, which may almost be alluded 
to in the words of Zechariah viii. 20-23 . 

Certainly the closing words of verse 23 are true now. Many 
want to join us, and are willing to be taught and led. 



The ground seems to have been broken up, and now our 
most urgent duty is to sow the seed and pray for the watering 
of the Holy Spirit. I tremble to think that the prepared soil 
may be allowed to harden, or left to bring forth rank weeds, 
when a glorious harvest might be reaped. . . . 

In several places the people have themselves secured 
places for meeting, and many that come are scholars and well- 
to-do people. But where are the labourers ? Do not misunder- 
stand this movement. I see no conviction of sin ; no crying 
for salvation ; but only a willingness to come with us, and a 
sense that we are right. 

Pray that I may have wisdom to direct this movement 
into the right channels. I must use all the Chinese help I can, 
but there is danger here, of course, and funds, too, are needed 
for this. Some hundreds of people could easily be gathered 
together in a dozen new centres for Sunday meetings if I had 
the workers to send. 

It is men that are chiefly needed ; unprejudiced, willing 
to see the good in a movement like this, but cautious not to act 

Fresh openings in the Eastern half of the diocese 
[the C.I.M. part] presented themselves every week, and 
frequently strong pressure was brought to bear upon 
the Bishop to send help. To meet the situation he 
gave his own most valued helpers, his own right hand, 
as he expressed it. But nothing that he could do was 
commensurate with the opportunities. His letters 
throughout this period are most pathetic reading, 
because of their oft-repeated and apparently fruitless 
appeals for men. 

My constant cry [he writes] is Lord, send forth labourers. 
I have again and again urged the intense importance of 
sending reinforcements. The movement is a widespread 
one. I am urged by letters and by deputations to send 
preachers to many places. Let us do all we can while these 
doors stand open. 

People from my district are even going to Chungking to 
ask the London Missionary Society to come and open work. 
If we cannot do the work ourselves I should prefer to let the 
Church Missionary Society [the western part of the diocese] 
come and do it. They have many workers and little work. 


I have been travelling for over six weeks. To-day I visit 
the new work at Nanpu. To-morrow, D.V., I return home. 
Of course, I have strained myself to the utmost on this journey, 
and I have much to do on my return. By reading letters in my 
chair and writing at night in the inns, or as now on a box in a 
very shaky boat, I have tried to keep up with some of my 
correspondence, but only some. 

Help me with your prayers, also my dear wife, who, amid 
great weakness of body, tries to keep on with her work, her 
classes, teaching the five little ones at home, and keeping going 
our large house with all its visitors. 

In the midst of all this toil and travelling his children 
fell sick, and Mrs. Cassels was nearly distraught with 
prolonged and serious anxiety. 

In a letter written immediately upon his return from 
visiting the C.M.S. stations, where this mass movement 
was at that time not felt, he writes : 

What does the Lord mean by this ? Are some of the C.I.M. 
stations to be given up to the C.M.S. ? or will workers be sent 
to us ? 

The very day I left home for Pachow, Chuhsien, etc., little 
Harold came out all over with Scarlet Fever and had to be 
separated from the others with my wife for five weeks. 

The very day I left for the C.M.S. stations Gracie (who had 
been seedy for ten days before) was taken very seriously ill 
with what we have now no doubt is post-scarlatina dropsy. It 
was a terrible time for my wife. . . . The enclosed letter will 
give you a few details. . . . Probably now the other children 
will take the fever as they were not separated. I write in haste 
for I have to leave for Sintientsi where there are baptisms and 
confirmations. . . . Forgive my terrible scrawls. 

But the pressure of work continued. It would be 
possible to quote literally from more than twenty letters 
extending over as many months, some running to fifteen 
and sixteen quarto sheets, written with his own hand, 
giving details of this urgent situation which burdened 
his soul beyond measure. 

He was literally eaten up with zeal for the Lord's 
House. He saw the opportunities, he also saw the 


perils, and yet felt helpless for lack of workers. In 
one of these letters he wrote : 

The work at Nanpu goes on very encouragingly ; seven 
shopkeepers in the city now shut up their shops on Sunday, 
and put up a board stating the reason. If only we could have 
taken hold of all the other places, where openings occurred, as 
we took hold of Nanpu, what glorious results we should have 
had i Not that the people there are even yet crying out " What 
must we do to be saved ? " or understand the spiritual benefit 
of the Gospel as they should, but it is coming. It is well to 
remember that, even after the disciples had followed the Lord 
for three years, they still looked for a political Saviour in the 
Lord Jesus Christ (Acts i. 6). When the Lord came to the 
earth there was a great restless yearning in hearts for a Saviour ; 
but the people themselves did not understand what that yearn- 
ing meant. They thought that a political Messiah, with earthly 
power, would satisfy that heart-craving and give them perfect 
peace and joy. Ah ! they failed to diagnose their own disease, 
and the disease of the world ; but patiently, and by leading 
them through many a disappointment, the Lord taught them 
better, and some at least learned the lesson. I believe the 
position is largely the same now. 

In another letter full of details about the workers 
in lonely districts struggling with the situation, he 
writes : 

May I again draw your attention to the urgent need for 
workers in this district. It is for one thing very sad to have to 
leave our brethren alone as they are at present. For another 
thing the work in their hands is far more than they can do. 
And for a third thing immense harm is being done by leaving 
so many places with no missionary to guide them. 

Nothing would induce him to spare himself. In a 
letter of twenty-two pages dated August 7, 1902, from 
Sintientsi, all written with his own hand, he writes : 

After visiting Pachow and the Paoning outstations in June, 
I returned to Paoning early in July, and brought my wife and 
family up here, going on myself at once to the C.M.S. stations 
for the half-yearly Committee meeting, etc. 

It was a journey through fire and water. The heat, of 


course, was extreme, but I had also to contend against floods 
and dangerously swollen rivers. But the Lord again protected. 
Now I am back here at Sintientsi, and find a mass of corre- 
spondence, etc., to attend to, as well as other matters which will 
take a week or two. 

In another letter of sixteen quarto pages dated 
November of the same year, he reports on a journey 
eastward covering six hundred English miles and taking 
thirty- three days, including five Sundays, and says he 
was about to start again that week to the West. Here 
again we find the loneliness of the workers and the 
death of a promising young missionary named Green- 
away burdening his heart. 

It is a constant trial and burden to me [he says] to have 
to leave these brethren alone. God keep them (this is my 
constant prayer) from melancholy, from overstrain, and the 
other evils of solitariness. 

In this he was thinking of Mr. Jennings at Shunking, 
alone, weakened by a trying summer, unnerved by 
constant Boxer excitement and alarm, left to face the 
anxious weeks of watching, and then the death-chamber 
of his young companion, Greenaway. 

I can only repeat [he writes again of another place] what 
I have said before with solemn sobriety, the people there 
have been left to the devil, and it is no wonder if they do the 
devil's work. Some who have visited these places have said 
to me they fear there is a good deal of tares among the wheat.- 
I have replied I did not know there was any wheat at all. When 
I was there I found nothing but broken-up ground and a 
glorious opportunity of sowing the seed. Prejudices gone, idols 
broken, books bought, halls rented. But you do not expect to 
reap wheat before you have sown seed. If the enemy has sown 
tares that is exactly what was to be expected. He is much more 
keen than we are. 

I know, dear Mr. Stevenson, that you cannot manufacture 
missionaries at Shanghai. But you would not have me with- 
hold from you my anxieties or fail to tell you of our needs. 


The dearth of foreign workers compelled him to 
recognise the urgent necessity of training Chinese 
leaders, and one outcome of this period of pressure 
was the founding of a Diocesan Training Institute, the 
Church Missionary Society at first finding the man, 
Mr. Lawrence, and the China Inland Mission supplying 
the premises. 

So far as I know [he wrote in a private letter] my appeals 
for more workers have had no effect upon the home Churches. 
My great need is some good men ; meanwhile I am trying to 
develop more Chinese help, but this takes time. 

It was not surprising that opposition should arise 
against this mass movement towards Christianity. For a 
time a recrudescence of the Boxer persecutions seriously 
threatened the province, especially in the West, where 
over a thousand Roman Catholic adherents and a score 
of Protestant converts were killed. But the advent of 
a new Viceroy soon checked and stamped out this 

But after two years of strenuous work such as has 
been only too imperfectly outlined here, it became 
evident that the Bishop was becoming seriously over- 
wrought. Writing to Mr. Stevenson on March 30, 
1903, he says : 

If you will relieve me from my work as Superintendent I 
shall be very glad indeed. In fact, it is really a question 
whether I can go on with it owing to my state of health. Open- 
ing letters so often gives me such trepidation and pain in the 
heart, and frequently results in such sleeplessness, that I am 
beginning to think I am in a run-down state of health. 

Just a few weeks later we find him and Mrs. Cassels 
entertaining at Paoning from Saturday to Thursday all 
the members of the West China Advisory Board. 
Weary in body, his comfort and strength were found 
in God's Word. 



Writing on Good Friday he says : 

This is Good Friday, and I am full of the thought " He 
loved me and gave Himself for me ". It takes a long, long 
time to enter into the meaning of those words. 

Or again : 

There are many Goliaths to be met with in our work, but 
I have just been much cheered by the story of how David met 
with his Goliath. God help us each and all to please and glorify 

One touch of humour which lightens the records of 
these strenuous months was connected with the marriage 
of two workers who desired him to obtain the consent 
of the General Director in Shanghai, " not merely with 
post haste but with marriage speed ". 

At length on January 18, 1904, just sixteen years 
to the day from the time when he and his young bride 
together entered Paoning he bade farewell to his fellow- 
workers and the Chinese Christians as he left for fur- 
lough. He and Mrs. Cassels, on January 18, 1888, had 
entered the city by night fearing to create alarm. Now 
they left it escorted by hundreds of Christians and 
adherents. Then there had been no Church and no 
congregation ; now there was a Church recently en- 
larged, crowded audiences ministered to not only by 
missionaries but also by a recently ordained Chinese 
deacon. Then there had been a hostile city, now there 
was a well-equipped station with schools, a hospital 
and a Diocesan Training Institute, not to speak of the 
five out-stations and the other twelve central stations 
with their thirty out-stations in other parts of the 

It was upon this occasion that each section of the 
diocese, as a token of their personal affection, pre- 
sented him with an address signed by all the workers 
expressing " their deep appreciation of all your un- 


failing kindness and sympathetic consideration ... in 
all matters connected with the work ". 

" We desire ", they said, " to thank and praise God 
for thus allowing us to work under your direction in 
such harmony and unbroken fellowship.'* They also 
included in their tribute an expression of their appre- 
ciation of the unfailing kindness and hospitality received 
from Mrs. Cassels, and their thankfulness for the bright 
hours of fellowship and social intercourse spent in the 
home at Paoning. These testimonies were accompanied 
by a cheque and a sum of Chinese money. 

On their journey down the river the Bishop, with 
his wife and family of five children, was shipwrecked 
on a rock in a rapid in mid-stream, the boat filling with 
water. No other boat was in sight, but in response to 
shouts for help a small ferry ultimately put off, and 
rescued them from their imminent danger. Few 
things, if any, are more perilous than to strike a rock 
when shooting a rapid, and such a deliverance was 
marvellous indeed. 


We conquer by continuing. A certain radiant and quiet dogged- 
ness has been one of the marks of all the saints for whom the trumpet 
has sounded on the other side. In the log-book of Columbus there 
is one entry more common than another. It is not " To-day the 
wind was favourable." It is " To-day we sailed on." 


WE must not linger over the Bishop's furlough which 
lasted from the early summer of 1904 to the autumn of 
the following year. It was not a time of much rest, for 
he found the demands of the study more exacting than 
the calls of the pulpit and platform, yet residence at 
Woodchester, near Stroud, made it a time of welcome 
change and refreshment. It was here that The Bulletin 
of the West China Diocese was launched, a periodical 
intended to fan and foster prayer and praise on behalf 
of the work. 

But though Gloucestershire had many sacred asso- 
ciations he was, he said, " almost more at home in 
Oporto than in England ", and a visit to Portugal at 
this time was a joyful and glad experience. One 
brother still recalls him walking down the quiet street 
" Vertudes " in Oporto singing to himself : 

This is my story, this is my song, 
Praising my Saviour all the day long. 

And everything proved that that was his story and 
his song, and to teach others to sing it he continued in 

labours abundant. 



But though at home, he was following with almost 
breathless interest the titanic conflict between Russia, 
the colossus of Europe, and Japan, the island Empire 
of the East, which was being fought out with all its 
momentous issues upon the plains of Manchuria. 

And he was painfully concerned at the losses sus- 
tained in the diocese. On the C.M.S. side the number 
of workers had been reduced by five, and on the C.I.M. 
side there had been sad reductions as well. 

Blow after blow has come upon the Paoning station [he 
writes], the Doctor removed, of course his wife gone, and now 
Mr. Lawrence cut off and the Training Institute bereft. The 
thought of those two houses ours and the Doctor's standing 
empty and no one to do the work which centres round them 
is a very sad thought indeed. 

And then there was the death of the beloved and 
venerable leader, Hudson Taylor a heavy loss when- 
ever it came which brought him to London to the 
Memorial service at Mildmay. The sense of bereave- 
ment and the insistent needs of the field burdened his 
heart almost beyond bearing. 

I have had a busy time [he writes just before sailing], this 
is nobody's fault. . . . The Lord has sent us a remarkably 
large band of recruits for the C.M.S. work, but I much regret 
to say that the prospects for the C.I.M. part of my diocese are 
not so good. ... A picture of the great need and the wide 
open doors in Eastern Szechwan are ever before my mind. It 
is almost agonising to think that there may be no fresh men 
this autumn to take advantage of the many and great openings. 

And there was another pain at his heart about which 
he does not say much to men, though he was not silent 
unto God. He and Mrs. Cassels had reached that time 
when they had to face what is one of the most poignant 
sorrows of the missionary's lot, namely, separation from 
beloved children. 


Parting with friends is never easy [he writes in The 
Bulletin], and in this case it is also parting with two beloved 
children and for how many years ? Who can say ? But I 
rejoice to be returning to the diocese, which I may, in a very 
true sense, speak of as my eldest child. 

Of his arrival at Shanghai, the parting with two 
more children who were going to Chefoo, his journey 
up the river, when he and Mrs. Cassels had the terrible 
experience of seeing twenty-five of their trackers 
drowned before their eyes, and of their welcome at 
Wanhsien and Paoning which " fairly amazed " them, 
we must not write. Some reference must, however, 
be made to his feelings and observations on returning 
to the field. 

The chief thing that has been impressed on my mind is 
that for good or ill, in the Church or out of it, the Chinese are 
showing a spirit of independence, and taking things into their 
own hands in a quite unprecedented way. 

And this spirit seems to be accompanied with a fresh out- 
burst of anti-foreign feeling ; not proceeding, as of old, from 
the supercilious Confucian who was unacquainted with the 
outside world, but from the more educated and advanced party 
in China. . . . This spirit is, no doubt, due to the Japanese 
successes. . . . The state of things demands much care and 

Many and varied feelings struggled for supremacy 
as he took up the work again. There was deep sorrow 
at the losses that had been sustained ; great gladness 
in view of the blessing received for the membership 
had doubled in the last three years, and there were two 
hundred and fifty-three adult candidates in the Paoning 
Deanery alone waiting for confirmation ; there was also 
intense amazement at the opportunities presenting 
themselves, and there was a feeling of utter abasement 
as he felt his insufficiency for the work before him. 

I was that night [he wrote on the night of his arrival], and 
have been since, deeply prostrated before God at the sense of 
my need. 


He was impressed with the necessity of consolidat- 
ing the work, of limiting the number of out-stations, 
of opening no more new central stations immediately, 
of the importance of putting the Training College for 
Catechists on a permanent basis and of giving a more 
generous place to the Chinese. And he hoped for less 
" clerical work " that he might give himself more to 
the building up of the Church. 

I am increasingly convinced [he writes] of the need of 
taking our Chinese brethren into consultation, and of trying 
to look at every question in the light in which it presents itself 
to them. . . . We are not sent here to transplant a fully- 
grown exotic which has already developed its colouring and 
characteristics from a distant clime ; such a process would 
ruin the vitality of any tree. Our work is to sow the seeds of 
Truth, and allow the tree, which is indigenous in every soil and 
(as St. Paul says) bears fruit in all the world, to adapt itself, as 
it grows, to its local surroundings whether they are favourable 
or unfavourable. 

The fundamentals of the Truth are, of course, unalterable ; 
but the non-essentials must be adapted to varying needs and 
capacities, and we have no right to impose upon a people of an 
utterly different temperament regulations which have grown 
up to suit the character of a Western nation. I seek, then, for 
a wise spirit of adaptation, and for grace to balance my judg- 
ment by that of the leaders in our Chinese churches. 

This was his policy as he wrote to the workers, and 
as he travelled from place to place. During the year 
1906 he travelled some thousands of miles and con- 
firmed no fewer than four hundred and eighty-seven 
candidates in widely separated stations. Some little 
idea of his engagements can be gathered from the 
following extract from a letter dated September 8, 1906 : 

I go to Pachow early in November, and from there to 
Suiting, where there is a Clerical Conference from the 2ist to 
the 23rd. On the 25th I have an Ordination followed, if 
possible, by a little Conference with Chinese Catechists. After 
that I have arranged to hold Confirmations at the following 


stations : Liangshan, Tachu, Chuhsien, and Yingshan, return- 
ing to Paoning by Christmas. In January 1907 (date not yet 
fixed) I have a Clerical Conference at Mienchow, and then have 
to preside over the C.M.S. Western China Conference for 
Mission arrangements. The Advisory Board Meeting for 
Western China is to be held at Chungking some five or six . 
weeks before the commencement of the Centenary Conference 
at Shanghai, and I have promised to be there. I then hope to 
visit Wanhsien and some of the Kweifu out-stations on my way 
down to the coast. There will probably be a Bishops' Con- 
ference at Hankow a week or two before the Anglican Confer- 
ence, and then follows the Centenary Conference after which 
I ought to get back at once before the river becomes high and 
travelling difficult and dangerous. 

We do not purpose in this chapter to follow the 
Bishop in those wider fellowships afforded by the 
many conferences to which he refers ; that will come 
later. We can, however, catch a glimpse of the burden 
which pressed upon him in the work of the diocese if 
we limit ourselves to some words of his on Paoning 

Here (in Paoning) I can be accounted for as nothing ; for 
when I am at home I am ceaselessly occupied with study work, 
but as you know, I am generally away. Since October (1906) 
I have had two or three weeks at home, and now I have, alas ! 
to leave next month with the prospect of not getting back till 
July or August. 

We have here Mr. Large, our kind Local Secretary, who 
also conducts the Boys' School, but has not yet been able to 
do much language study ; and we have Mr. Hannah, whom I 
have recently admitted to Deacons orders, but who is not yet 
qualified to administer the sacraments. We have here this 
large central station with a membership of four hundred or 
five hundred Christians some of the out-stations alone having 
double or treble the number of Christians there are in Suiting 
we have also a circle of ladies' stations all round here, Sintientsi 
Kwangyuan, Nanpu, and Pachow, each with a membership of 
not far short of one hundred Christians, all needing some one 
to visit them from time to time to administer the sacrament and 
to give other assistance. 

My work is such that it is impossible for me to undertake 
this work, and though our young brother Mr. Ku [the Rev. 


Ku Ho-lin] is a great help, he has the oversight of some eight 
out-stations with two hundred or three hundred Christians 
and probably one thousand adherents ; and at present he is 
rather young to entrust with the pastoral oversight of such 
stations as Kwangyuan and Pachow, for example ! 

It was small wonder that he was burdened with the 
need for reinforcements. But suddenly and un- 
expectedly, when returning from the Shanghai Cen- 
tenary Conference, a momentous decision affecting the 
whole of his future life was thrust upon him, for he 
received a letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury 
asking him if he would be willing to leave his present 
sphere and accept appointment as Bishop of Mid- 
China in succession to Bishop Moule. 

Some of this important correspondence may well be 
quoted. The Archbishop of Canterbury, writing from 
Lambeth Palace on April 19, 1907, said : 

I write to you upon a most important matter. It seems to 
me, after prayerful thought, and after careful counsel with 
Predendary Fox and Mr. Baring- Gould, that in the interests of 
the promotion of Christianity in China it is my duty to ask you 
to consent to succeed our revered friend, Bishop Moule, in 
the Diocese of Mid-China. 

I think I can quite realise the thoughts which will at once 
be yours : the great difficulty and disadvantage of your leaving 
your present diocese just when it has been consolidated by your 
loving and fatherly care ; the disinclination you will feel to 
entering upon new work when the old work still needs you ; the 
possibility of detriment to that part of your work which has to 
do with the China Inland Mission and so on. 

Well, I have tried to think out these things, and to weigh 
the whole cause. ... I honestly believe it to be the Will of 
God that you should do so. I see no other way in which, 
so effectively as this, the Gospel message can be set forward 
by our Church in China, and I pray God that you may see your 
way to give a favourable answer to my request, not lightly nor 
prayerlessly made to you. 

Other letters from Prebendary H. E. Fox and the 
Rev. B. Baring-Gould supported this invitation. 


These letters were received by Bishop Cassels when 
staying at the American Church Mission, Hankow, and 
he at once replied as follows under date of May 22, 1907 : 

Your Grace's letter of igth April reached me here yesterday. 
It has given me great perplexity, and I wish to ask for time for 
consideration, on the ground that your Grace does not press 
for an immediate answer, and that Bishop Moule, though nearly 
eighty years of age, still remains at his post with extraordinary 
vigour able to do all the needful work. ... 

I have already had the help of the prayers and advice of my 
friend, Bishop Roots of the American Church Mission here ; 
but I am anxious also to consult Bishop Graves and Bishop 
Price, and their return letters cannot reach me before July, 
when I shall have got back to my distant station, to which I am 
now returning. So I beg your Grace to allow me this amount of 

All my own inclinations, preferences and desires are entirely 
on one side. ... In view, however, of your Grace's letter and 
assurance of prayer, and in view of my vow of obedience, I will 
not any more mention difficulties or let them stand before me. 
But it may be permissible to speak of other things. 

If I can at all judge, I have no qualifications for the work in 
Mid- China I have only been a senior missionary with no 
scholarship or theological learning ; and any qualifications 
which I may have for my present work would be thrown away 
if I left it. The work in Western China is my own child, the 
child I have watched over and tended from the first ; and it is 
not only that I love this child as no one else can, it is that I have 
an influence over it which is needed at this time, but which I 
think it would be difficult for any one else to give. And it is 
accumulated influence which tells in China, , , 

1 should be giving up the liberty and unfettered influence 
which 1 have in the larger (that is, the China Inland Mission) 
side of my diocese for what I have always regarded as the 
cramped position of the Bishop of a solely Church Missionary 
Society diocese=the Chairman of a Conference with a casting 
vote. (I trust I shall be pardoned if I am wrong in this 

Your Grace, in your most kind letter, has not hinted that 
my work has been so unsuccessful that you wish to remove me 
to a smaller sphere ; or that my connection with the China 
Inland Mission was so unsatisfactory that it ought to cease. . . . 

But, on the other hand, your Grace's letter, so kind and 
considerate, and yet putting the call so strongly and anticipating 


so many of my objections, presses on me very deeply. And I 
dread the thought of being disloyal or disappointing, just as I 
fear the possibility of refusing a call of God. . . T 

But I ask for time to get advice, and that I may continue to 
offer the prayer of this Whitsuntide, and ask that by " the same 
Spirit I may have a right judgment in all things, and may ever- 
more rejoice in His holy comfort ", lest I bring loss to God's 
cause, disappointment to your Grace, and to myself the bitter- 
ness of disobedience to a heavenly call. 

The issues involved were great from many points 
of view, and Bishop Cassels was deeply exercised, for 
a good deal of pressure also was brought to bear upon 
him from certain quarters to respond to the Arch- 
bishop's call. But on the other hand there were many 
close and intimate ties which knit him to his present 
sphere. In the following confidential postscript to a 
longer letter on other subjects he made the situation 
known to the missionaries in the diocese and sought 
their prayers. 

While still desiring to regard the matter as private, yet I 
ought perhaps to tell you, my own fellow-workers in the diocese, 
that I have been asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury to go 
to Mid-China to take up the burden recently laid down by 
Bishop (George) Moule. 

Prebendary Fox and Mr, Baring-Gould have urged me to 
accede to the Archbishop's request, and the Bishops whom I 
have consulted unhesitatingly give me the same advice, 

On the other hand, some who know the needs and the 
opportunities, and the special conditions of Western China, as 
the above cannot do, urge me to remain, pointing out that the 
work here is more important than that in Mid-Cnina. 

For myself, while to a considerable extent I have, by the 
grace of God, overcome the great shrinking I had at first from 
the difficulties and trials of the post indicated, and am now, 
I believe, ready, if the will of God so be, to leave the work which 
is so entwined about my whole heart and life, and to take up 
my cross a far heavier one than I have ever borne and go 
forth into a strange land : yet my own judgment, as well as my 
whole heart (who can doubt it ?) are entirely in favour of 
remaining here. But I must confess that I do not yet know 


how to say " no " to a call which has come to me with such a 
weight of authority and pressure, as well as of kind consideration. 
The time that I begged to be allowed for consultation and 
prayer has not yet quite expired, and so I write this to beg most 
earnestly for the help of your prayers at this solemn crisis in 
my life and in the history of the diocese. 

After much prayer and close consideration of the 
question he became increasingly convinced that God's 
will was for him to continue where he was, and the 
urgent letters and petitions he received from all parts 
of the diocese urging him to remain came as welcome 
confirmations to his own judgment. His own decision 
being made he not only wrote the Archbishop, but also 
revealed to his fellow-workers some of the considera- 
tions which had governed his thinking at this time. 
The following are the more important paragraphs on 
this subject : 

Amongst others the following points might be kept before 
us in our prayers at that time. They have all helped to influence 
my decision at this time. 

(i) The Realisation of our Corporate life in the Diocese. In 
writing to me some from each side of the diocese have pointed 
to the need for drawing together the whole diocese, as one 
reason for urging my staying here. None can feel so much as 
I do the importance of welding the two sides of the diocese 
together into a corporate whole ; or rather, I should say, of 
seeking to realise in the actual what exists in the ideal. And 
so thanking God for the measure in which the ideal has already 
been attained and for the happy spirit of harmony which has 
always prevailed among us, we must set this before us as a 
matter for earnest prayer, and seek for the removal of every- 
thing which would hinder its accomplishment. 

(ii) The Witness offered by the Diocese. I would remind you 
that this is the only organised witness which the Church of 
England is offering throughout all the Inland Provinces of 
China, and it is deeply laid upon me that we should rouse 
ourselves to realise the importance of making that witness a 
true, holy and powerful one. Let us ask ourselves what 
impression we are leaving upon others. Are we showing both 
by our lives, and also by our labours, that the Church to which 


we belong is the truest manifestation of the life and spirit of 
the Lord Jesus Christ ? In this matter we have nothing to be 
proud of but much to be thankful for, and a great deal more to 
be humbled about. Let us see to it that we are walking worthy, 
not only of our individual calling, but also of our ecclesiastical 


We see a body in process of incorporation, whose several organs, 
imperfectly developed and imperfectly co-operant, are increasingly 
drawn to each other and bound more firmly in one as each becomes 
more complete in itself. The perfect Christian and the perfect 
Church are taking shape at once. Each of them requires the other 
for its due realisation. G. G. FINDLAY on Ephesians iv. 16. 

INCIDENTAL reference has already been made to several 
conferences among the varied engagements of the 
Bishop. These were, however, so many during the 
years 1907, 1908, and 1909, that it seems well to group 
them together. They ranged from a local Clerical 
Conference to the great Pan-Anglican and Lambeth 
gatherings in London, and can obviously only be dealt 
with from a personal point of view. He had entered 
upon what he called " a season of Conferences ", an 
expression justified by the following table : 


January. A C.M.S. Clerical Conference at Mienchow. 
March. West China Advisory Board at Chungking. 

April. Anglican Conference of seven Bishops and eighteen 

delegated Clergy at Shanghai. 

China Inland Mission Conference, one hundred present 
in Shanghai. 

May. Great Centenary Missionary Conference in Martyrs' 
Memorial Hall, Shanghai. 

Later. Preliminary steps towards forming West China Diocesan 




January. West China Missionary Conference at Chengtu. 
June. The Pan-Anglican Congress in London. 
July. Lambeth Conference. 


April, Anglican Conference at Shanghai to form Provincial 
Synod ; attended by the Bishops and Clerical and Lay 
delegates from eight Dioceses ; Bishop Cassels being 

Such a varied programme of necessity entailed 
much hard travelling both in China and across Siberia 
and Europe, for to save time he journeyed home and 
back by rail. In addition, the care of the diocese was 
ever upon his mind whether present or absent, so that 
these years were a time of considerable strain, though 
he entered with full enjoyment into every duty and 
new experience. 

Amid so much that clamours for recognition it is 
only possible in this brief survey to select a few out- 
standing incidents which illustrate his official and 
personal relationship to those great and momentous 
occasions. He was no merely interested spectator, 
but a deeply concerned partner in all that those august 
assemblies signified. It was only under a sense of 
solemn responsibility that he consented to the necessary 
absence from his diocese that these wider calls involved, 
and this aspect of the subject may perhaps best be 
revealed by his own words written towards the close 
of 1910, when a lapse of time had allowed the true 
proportion of events to appear. 

Attendance at Missionary Conferences has for three years 
in succession made serious inroads upon my time. . . . 

(i) In the spring of 1907 there was the China Centenary 
Conference, and, preceded as it was by an Anglican Conference, 
its claims 'were too strong to be resisted. 


(2) Then in January 1908, there came the United West 
China Conference at Chengtu, and although this did not involve 
a long journey, yet it did involve a considerable break in my 
work and the expenditure of much energy. 

(3) Later on in the year there was the Pan- Anglican Congress 
and the Lambeth Conference, which, through the kindness of 
the Parent Committee, I had the great privilege of attending. 

(4) Lastly, in the May of 1909, there was the important 
Anglican Conference at Shanghai, to which Chinese delegates 
were invited for the first time, and at which the foundation of a 
General Synod for China was laid. I felt it would be unfair 
to the diocese if it were not represented ; and so, taking with 
me the Chinese delegates and one of my English clergy, for the 
third year in succession I faced the perils of the Yangtze and 
journeyed down to the coast. 

In every interval between these Conferences he 
gave himself with intense devotion to hard travelling 
that he might visit the many stations for which he was 
responsible, and meantime his correspondence never 
flagged. In England, more than a month after the 
close of the Lambeth Conference, he was so closely 
engaged that he wrote, " I have scarcely seen, or not 
seen at all, members of my own family ". There were, 
however, some welcome occasions when he did enjoy 
a few hours' fellowship with his own. He arranged, 
for instance, for a passing glimpse of some of his 
children at Tientsin who had come there from Chefoo 
on purpose ere he started on the long railway journey 
home via Siberia. And there is a little homely touch 
in a letter to his sister in England which must not be 

Is that old silk episcopal hat still existing ! If so perhaps 
you would most kindly send it for me to the C.I.M., Newington 
Green, London, N. I shall want a hat in London. I must 
settle the bill for storage 1 

And there are some interesting sidelights and 
picturesque details of the solemn assemblies to be found 
in his letters to his children, which must, however, be 


reserved for a chapter specially devoted to the sancti- 
ties of his domestic affections. One unique family 
event did take place after the great service in West- 
minster Abbey at the opening of the Pan-Anglican 
Congress, when no fewer than five of the brothers met 
for lunch at the National Club, namely, the Bishop 
and his brothers James, John, Walter, and Herbert. 1 

At the great Thanksgiving Service in St. Paul's 
Cathedral, when more than 333,000 was contributed 
as a thank-offering from all the dioceses of the Anglican 
Communion, Bishop Cassels was, with deep thankful- 
ness and joy, the bearer of a gift from the Chinese 
Church in Western China, and it may be stated here 
that subsequently, when that great thank-offering was 
apportioned, a sum of 5000 was set aside for the 
founding of an Anglican Hostel for the West China 
Diocese, for work among the students attending 
Government schools in Chengtu. 

The story of these weighty assemblies belongs 
rather to the Church historian than to the biographer. 
What does most concern us here is the light thrown 
upon the Bishop's attitude towards and his sympathies 
with the wider fellowships of the Christian life. It is 
clear not only from his actions, but also from his 
correspondence, that he realised the solemn import- 
ance of the Apostle Paul's words which state that the 
increase of the Body is dependent upon that which 
every joint supplieth, granted, of course, that these 
hold fast the Head. It was for this reason that he so 
earnestly desired the working in due measure of each 
several part. 

1 The Rev. James Cassels of the Lusitanian Church in Portugal, well 
known among the Portuguese as Diogo Cassels ; the Rev. John W. Cassels, 
formerly Chaplain in India ; Walter Cassels from South America, a generous 
supporter of his brothers' work both in Portugal and China ; Herbert W. 
Cassels of Portugal, Treasurer of the Oporto-China fund. 



Two personal letters, among others, may be selected 
to reveal his mind on this important topic. Writing 
to Bishop Roots of the American Episcopal Church 
in China, after one of the Anglican Conferences at 
Shanghai, he said : 

I look back with much thankfulness to my days with you. 
If we could all of us, more often, open up our hearts together 
in prayer how it would help us. There is now a fresh link 
between us. 

I continue to pray that " by the same spirit " I may have 
" a right judgment in all things ", and so " evermore rejoice in 
His holy comfort ". 

May that spirit abundantly rest on you too. I am, Ever 
your affectionate brother in Christ. 

P.S. I have looked over the greater part of Vol. I. of the 
Life of Phillips Brooks, and shall be tempted to ask to be allowed 
to take Vol. II. a little further. 

Such warmth of heart from one who was by nature 
reserved means more than it would from many another. 

The second letter is addressed to Bishop Talbot, 
on St. Luke's Day, 1910, the fifteenth anniversary of 
their Consecration together in Westminster Abbey. 
It was written when he was travelling on the Yangtze, 
and, since it gives a picture of the Bishop in his work 
of visiting the widely scattered stations of his diocese, 
we do not limit the quotation to the main point before 
us. That will appear at the close of the letter. 

I have been writing letters all day, as far as the tossing of 
my little boat would allow me. They have been chiefly about 
the meeting of my Diocesan Council which is to come together 
in December. 

But now the boat is stiller, though still restless on the heaving 
water (even here in this bay) of this immense river. My boat- 
men have all fallen asleep. A curtain has been put up over 
my little compartment of the boat. I have a box for my table 
and kneeling stool and my bed for a seat. So I am now better 
able to think about the events of St. Luke's Day, and to go 
more quietly through the Consecration service again, than has 


been possible throughout the day. And there is also this one 
more letter to write to-night, before St. Luke's Day passes. 

I left Paoning four weeks ago, and have ever since been 
visiting widely scattered stations over the eastern part of my 
extensive diocese. ... I have held eight confirmations, laying 
hands on about ninety Christian converts ; baptizing once (ten 
persons) ; dedicated one new Church ; admitted one Catechist 
and one Lay Minister. I have adopted this expression from 
the Japan Church. I have, of course, preached constantly 
and celebrated everywhere, besides attending to all sorts of 
matters. . . . 

I am sorry not to have been able to go down to Hankow to 
meet Bishop Montgomery, but it would have meant a month's 
absence from the diocese. 

Fifteen years have run since that solemn day at Westminster 
Abbey. Mercies without number have been showered upon 
us, and we are still spared to work on yet a little while. 

It is with much thankfulness that I have seen your name in 
connection with the Edinburgh Conference. Here in China 
I have gradually seen all the Bishops begin to take part in these 
Conferences. But further steps towards union are very 

It is worth while at this point pausing for a moment 
to consider how large-hearted and catholic in his spirit 
Bishop Cassels was. He was just as simple and loyal 
a member of the China Inland Mission as he had ever 
been, and yet he was none the less faithful to his per- 
sonal convictions as a Churchman, and able to have heart 
fellowship with many from whom he differed materially 
in matters of ritual and ceremony. That he could 
resolve to love and yet agree to differ does not lack 

One of the questions discussed at the Anglican 
Conference in Shanghai in 1909, when Bishop Scott of 
North China was President and Bishop Cassels Vice- 
President, was the name by which the Anglican Church 
in China should be known. The term then " pro- 
visionally and tentatively " adopted was Chung-Hwa 
Sheng-Kung-Hwei, which, if literally translated, means 


The Chinese Holy Catholic Church. But it is not 
possible here to enter into the controversial and varied 
aspects of this important subject ; it must suffice to 
say, in the words of Archdeacon W. S. Moule, that it 
was thought " well that one of its (the Church's) parts 
at least, should claim the inheritance of the name". 
Another reason was that in Japan the Anglican Church 
had adopted a parallel title, namely, Nippon Sei-Ko- 
Kwai. What has been said will help to explain the 
significance of the following extract from a letter written 
by Bishop Cassels to Bishop Roots in 1912 : 

I am very interested to see that you, too, feel that we must 
not finally have the same term for the name of the Church in 
China as we have for the translation of the " Holy Catholic 
Church " in the Creed : the question is one of considerable 
difficulty with a number of confused historical points bearing 
upon it, but, no doubt, light will be given to us in due time. 

Another important letter dealing with the retrans- 
lation of the Prayer Book into Chinese shows the Bishop 
standing true to his own convictions, and not afraid to 
speak out when he differed from his brethren. It is 
interesting to note, by the way, that this letter was not 
written in the quiet of his study but from a wayside 
inn near Kaihsien. 

I have received yours of February i5th (1915) with copy 
of your letter to Bishop , and I am sorry to have to answer it. 

I have never taken a narrow or partisan line in these matters, 
but I am entirely opposed to the word proposed for priest in 
the Ordinal. 

(1) It has not been used in other parts of the Prayer Book. 

(2) There is no precedent for it in the English, American, 

Scotch, or Irish Prayer Books. (Priest is presbyter, 
of course). 

(3) It is unscriptural. I need say no more. 

As for the term for deacon. What shall I say to it ? Is 
there any precedent in any part of the world for translating 
BLO.KOVOS by " Assistant- Sacrificer " ? If so, then we can 


abandon all attempts at translating in future. To me the 
rendering is not only no translation, it is ridiculous. I take 
an early opportunity of writing this, even though I can only 
write briefly here. . . . 

P.S. I have recently been reading Professor Sanday's 
book on The Christian Ministry, in which he tries to reconcile 
the position of Bishop Lightfoot with that of Professor Moberly's 
Ministerial Priesthood. In the second edition there is an 
appendix with Moberly's comments and Sanday's reply. 

It is very interesting. But though Sanday goes as far as 
he can to meet Moberly, and tries to make Romans xv. 16, "the 
offering up of the Gentiles ", a sanction for the sacrificial aspect 
of the ministry, yet I cannot imagine even Moberly, much less 
Sanday, using " assistant-sacrificer " for deacon. 

I can go some distance with the evolutionary idea of the 
ministry, but " assistant-sacrificer " is not evolution but 
revolution, and that of a most radical character, and is quite 
inconsistent with the Scriptures, or with the teaching of the 

Please do not say C.M.S. men will disapprove. It is not 
a question of C.M.S. I refuse to be a party man. This is a 
question which is far wider than any party and touches all well- 
balanced Churchmen. 

It is not the duty of a biographer to comment, but 
rather to allow the subject of the biography to speak 
for himself. These letters reveal the man and his 
personal convictions, as well as his wide sympathies. 
We may, however, close by stating, in words which are 
an echo of the Bishop's own, that he was fully aware 
that all ecclesiastical assemblies were not without their 

When forming the Western China Diocesan Synod 
he reminded the workers that the Church's Articles 
state that " Councils may err and some have erred ", 
and that in such assemblies " all are not governed with 
the spirit of the Word of God ". He recognised that 
any study of Church History terribly justified these 
words. His desire always was not to push machinery 
ahead of spirituality, nor to make any organisation so 
stiff and formal that the liberty of the individual should 


be crushed or the movement of God's Spirit fettered, 
and the whisperings of His voice drowned. He ever 
warned his. fellow- workers to be on their guard against 
the spirit of rivalry, or partisanship, or self-assertion, 
which alas ! he confessed had too often marred even 
the most sacred assemblies. 


One of the many lessons which I learned from my old Professor, 
Dr. Lindsay, was that the story of our Christian faith is really the 
story of revivals. With his unequalled knowledge and his various 
learning, he was fond of insisting on that. Our Christian faith, he 
would say, has not come down the centuries like a steady expanding 
river. There have been times of deadness, seasons of inertia, long 
ages of a weary formalism. And then always, at the appointed hour, 
has come the opening of heaven's windows, and an awakening to 
lost simplicities. GEORGE H. MORRISON. 

AFTER these three years of conferences the Bishop at 
length rejoiced to be free to give himself uninter- 
ruptedly to diocesan work. For years there had been 
a number of important matters burdening his heart. 
These were the organisation of the diocese on a self- 
governing basis, the completion of the Diocesan Theo- 
logical College for the training of Chinese catechists 
and clergy, the starting of a Hostel in Chengtu for work 
among the thousands of students attending the Govern- 
ment schools and colleges, the building of a central 
Church at Paoning, and a special effort for the revival 
of the spiritual life of the Christians throughout the 
diocese. This was an ambitious programme, but he 
recognised that organisation and machinery came 

A number of things had caused him to put spiritual 
refreshment in the first place. There had been a 
marked pause in the outward progress of the work, 

there was also a paucity of baptisms, and what had 



perhaps pained him most was the necessity for the 
heart-rending duty of discipline. This latter fact had 
led him to send out a pastoral letter on the subject. 
His heart was, therefore, set upon spiritual revival, 
while he remembered all the time that the work was 
surrounded by and dependent upon the material also. 
Without entering into detail a brief summary of what 
had been accomplished by the close of 1910 may be 
given as far as possible in the Bishop's own words : 

(1) Organisation of the Diocese. 

(i.) The diocese has now [he writes] been divided into 
parishes each with its own parochial vestry. 

(ii.) Groups of parishes have been formed into districts, 
corresponding as largely as possible with the Chinese pre- 
fectures ; each district having its District Council. 

(iii.) A full Diocesan Synod has not yet been called together, 
but a Diocesan Council has been formed, elected by the 
District Councils, which advise and assist the Bishop, especi- 
ally in the management of the Diocesan Sustentation Fund. 

(2) The Diocesan Theological College. 

I have been enabled to procure funds to purchase spacious 
premises. ... I have provided a convenient residence for the 
Principal and Vice-Principal, as well as rooms for Chinese 
candidates for Holy Orders. 

(3) The Anglican Hostel in Chengtu. 

It is some five years since the idea of starting a special work 
among the students, who have recently been converging so 
largely to Chengtu, first took root in my heart. After a time 
it seemed clear that the work of following up our school-boys 
who are going up to the provincial Capital to complete their 
studies, as well as of getting hold of the students in connection 
with the Chinese Colleges, would be best accomplished by the 
starting of an Hostel in a central situation in Chengtu. 

Year by year progress has been made, our ideas have 
matured, our plans have developed, our prospects have 
brightened. This matter has, of course, put upon me a great 
deal of labour with correspondence, travelling, etc. . . . Funds 
have been provided, workers have been sent, property has been 
purchased, the services of an architect have been secured, 


building operations have been commenced, and students are 
already beginning to come round, and the prospects are hope- 
ful. It is easy to write these words down, but it is almost a 
miracle how some of these things have been accomplished. 

(4) Ordinary Episcopal Work. 

During this period (the year 1910) I have visited all the 
stations in the diocese at least once, and several of them more 
than once. . . . Merely to journey across the diocese from 
east to west would involve a month's continuous travelling. 
Two hundred and sixty-three persons were presented to me 
(for Confirmation) and I have most earnestly striven by supplica- 
tion and exhortations that with the laying on of hands they 
should also receive those spiritual blessings sought for in the 
Confirmation prayer. . . . 

I have had the sad duty of issuing formal sentence of 
discipline against some thirty out of our two thousand com- 
municants, as well as to excommunicate one or two who 
appeared to be hardened in sin. . . . 

Amongst other duties which have prevented me being idle 
during the periods when I am in my station, I may mention 
the work at the retranslation of the Mandarin Prayer Book, 
revising the catalogue of the Diocesan Library ; preparation 
of my little Diocesan quarterly magazine, The Bulletin, to say 
nothing of attention to a large Diocesan and general corre- 
spondence, involving writing some sixteen hundred letters 
during the year. 

One other need which thrust itself insistently upon 
him was that of a new Church. Paoning, always the 
geographical centre of the district, had also become the 
ecclesiastical centre of the diocese. The original 
Church, although enlarged, was utterly inadequate for 
what was now to serve the three-fold purpose of (i) 
a parish Church, (2) a mother Church for the central 
and out-stations of Paoning in which there were six 
hundred and forty-nine baptized persons, and (3) a 
pro-Cathedral for the whole diocese. A new building 
was essential, but there was no desire for anything 
elaborate or out of harmony with the conditions of the 
work, only a dignified and seemly edifice which would 


promote reverence, assist the spirit of worship and 
afford the necessary accommodation. 

It was therefore with no small joy and gratitude 
to God that Bishop Cassels learned that his good friend, 
Canon Barnett of Bordighera, had on his own initiative 
taken up this need, and proposed to a number of friends 
that it would be " a fitting testimonial " to present to 
the Bishop a special gift for the erection of this Church. 

As a beginning of the scheme [he wrote] I am enabled to 
say that a College friend of the Bishop, who wishes to remain 
anonymous, is ready to provide the 100 for the site if, by the 
close of 1910, the 500 required for the building has been 
either paid or promised ; thus leaving the Chinese Christians 
the cost of levelling the ground, walling in the property, etc. 

It was not until 1914, at another Christmas season, 
that this building was opened and formally dedicated 
to God, fuller details of which will appear later. But 
while all these schemes were in hand it was the crying 
need of spiritual revival which most heavily burdened 
the Bishop's heart. 

Throughout the years from 1907 onward, the eyes 
of all concerned with the spread of the Gospel in the 
Far East had been watching, with deepest interest, the 
revival which had spread from Korea to Manchuria, 
and afterwards to other parts of China. Toward the 
close of 1909 Bishop Cassels wrote : 

We greatly need the breath of revival which, we hear, is 
being felt in many places throughout China ; and we have a 
very distinct expectation that ere long we shall ourselves feel 
that life-giving and refreshing breath ; that the Spirit of God 
will be poured out upon us, and He will do better unto us than 
at the beginning, so that the wilderness shall become a pool of 
water, and the dry land springs of water. 

That this might be so special prayer was made, and 
a number of missionaries gathered together in Sin- 


tientsi in August 1909, for two days of continuous 
prayer. Tidings of what God had wrought through 
the ministry of Dr. Goforth and Mr. Lutley had, of 
course, reached the West, and by arrangements with 
Mr. Hoste Mr. Lutley was set free to visit Szechwan 
and parts of North- West China. Independently, and 
mutually, both he and the Bishop had been led in this 
matter, thus confirming the impression that the thing 
was of God. During February 1910, Mr. Lutley and 
his Chinese colleague, Mr. Wang, arrived in the diocese 
from the North, the first meetings being held at 

The story of this time of blessing as it affected the 
whole diocese cannot be told here, and we must limit 
ourselves mainly to the Bishop's own reports of the 
meetings held in Paoning. 

The striking feature of the Mission was that the Spirit of 
Conviction fell on the people from the very first. . . . After 
the usual morning and afternoon Sunday services, the local 
clergy left things in the hands of the Missioner, and an irre- 
sistible wave of prayer with confession of sin fell on the congre- 
gation. This became intensified day by day, and reached its 
climax on Wednesday. 

The Spirit of Conviction was most deep and widespread. 
It fell on all classes alike, literate and illiterate, young and old, 
chiefly on the men, but the women (of whom there were much 
fewer present) did not escape. 

The task of making a list of the sins acknowledged would 
be a sad and unprofitable one, and it is surely best to draw a 
veil over so solemn a matter. 

I do not know whether one was most prostrate with shame 
at the terrible frailty of even the best Christians, or filled with 
wonder at the marvellous power of the Spirit of God to lead 
men to make such confession. 

One man remarked that the most excruciating torture in a 
Chinese law Court would have failed to draw out such confes- 
sions. Naturally speaking, the preaching was entirely in- 
sufficient for such a work. No outward power could have done 
it. But men were so moved by an inward and spiritual 


impulse that they were irresistibly compelled to give utterance, 
often with tears and groans, to what for very shame, if not for 
fear of consequences, they would otherwise have kept utterly 
secret. . . . 

On one or two occasions I was among the congregation, and 
I noticed men praying as if quite unconscious of the presence 
of others, pouring out their heart and confessing their sins to 
God, though surrounded perhaps by others who were careless 
and indifferent, if not inclined to be critical. 

Many promised reparation of various kinds, and not a few 
sums of money have been paid back. 

On a later day the people were led by the Missioner to make 
apologies to any whom they had offended, or to make peace 
with any with whom they were at variance. The suggestion 
was at once acted upon, and men rose up from their seats in the 
Church to go and find those to whom they wished to make 
apology. This was one of the most touching features of the 

At the early Communion on the second Sunday there were 
nearly three hundred Communicants, and one man who had 
been most deeply broken down before, again broke out into 
irresistible sobs as he received the tokens of our Lord's love. 

The Thankoffering taken during that day, which is to be 
devoted to the New Church building, amounted in sums given 
or promised to nearly Taels 400. Only the Lord can see the 
heart, and it is well that it is so. But as He Himself made 
public the story of the widow's two mites, it may be permitted 
to us to refer to one or two cases that were noticed. 

A little girl from one of the out-stations put two cash into 
the plate, whispering to a lady missionary sitting near, " It is 
all I have got, if I had more I would give it all ". 

Twenty taels was given by another, about one-sixth of his 
annual income. But it was money which he felt he ought to 
pay back to the Lord. 

The young wife of Mr. Ku, our valued Chinese clergyman, 
was at first hard and unresponsive, but later on Mr. Ku told 
me that she had been greatly blessed. She was seen to put 
her hand up her arm as the plate came near and drag off her 
heavy silver bracelet. Putting it into the plate she bowed her 
head in prayer, as if it cost her not a little to part with it. 

Writing on another occasion the Bishop said : 

Scoffers might call the work by an evil name ; unbelievers 
might laugh at the unusual scenes ; hard hearts might, for a 


time, resist the influence ; but those whose eyes were opened, 
and whose hearts were touched, felt indeed that now, if never 
before, they had been brought into touch with the powers of 
the other world, and with the mighty working of the Spirit of 
God. . . . 

The workers had thought the Chinese stolid and unemotional, 
but even those who had seen most of mission or revival work 
at home had never before witnessed such moving scenes as 
during these meetings out here. 

Great as were the outward manifestations the Bishop 
was careful to issue words of warning lest exaggerated 
ideas and false hopes might be raised. He acknow- 
ledged that the Christians throughout the diocese had 
" tasted the powers of the world to come ", that they 
had learned the convincing power of the Holy Spirit, 
and that " the Word of God was quick and powerful, 
and sharper than any two-edged sword ", that the 
spirit of prayer had been quickened, that in many cases 
sin had been put away and a new devotion to Christ 
made manifest, but he did not see that these meetings 
had resulted in any considerable extension of the 
Church. Writing, however, nearly a year later, after 
time had tested results, he was able to give the following 
beautiful testimony : 

The results remain, thank God, but they need to be looked 
for. I have recently been looking for them and have found 
them almost everywhere. Beaming faces, peaceful hearts, 
purified lives, intensified prayers, quickened devotion, renewed 
efforts, relatives brought in, friends converted, and a higher 
standard of holiness in the Church, these and such things as 
these, of all which I could give instances, have shown me that 
the results remain. A blessed work has been done, or shall I 
rather say begun ; but it is left for us to carry it on. The devil 
still rages, perhaps he rages more ; doubt is still rampant ; 
hearts are still hard ; we may not rest on our oars or relax 
our efforts ; and we still need to entreat the friends of the 
diocese to labour in prayer on our behalf and on behalf of 
this work. 


But amid all the deep causes for rejoicing, this year 
of revival had brought the sorrows of bereavement, for 
no fewer than three beloved and valued workers, the 
Rev. Dr. Squibbs, the Rev. Walter C. Taylor, and Miss 
Biggs, had been taken from them, losses the Bishop 
keenly felt. 


And best of all, once more I paced the fields 
With him whose love had made me long for God 
So good a Father that, needs-must, I sought 
A better still, Father of him and me. 


HITHERTO we have followed Bishop Cassels in his 
relationship towards his " first child ", as he once 
called the diocese in Western China, with the barest 
reference now and again to his family life. We have 
noted the birth of his children as God enriched his 
home, and we have recalled the poignant trial of 
separation from his loved ones inevitably imposed 
upon him by the exigencies of his missionary calling. 
Though at first he had been enabled to leave his 
children at the China Inland Mission schools in Chefoo, 
and thus occasionally see them when duty called him 
to the coast he had, as they grew up, been under the 
necessity either of leaving them at home in England or 
of sending them there, as opportunity offered. This 
was, of course, nothing beyond the common lot of all 
missionaries, and of many a Government official, but 
that fact did not lessen the pain and trial from both 
sides. The problem of the home is inevitably one of 
the problems which cuts the human heart of the 
missionary in its most vital and tender spot. 

In the midst of all those multitudinous labours and 
wider fellowships, of which we have sought to speak, 
there had been those tuggings of the heart-strings in 



all that related to the sacred claims and insistent 
demands of the home, for home it still was though most 
of the loved inmates were scattered far away. It was 
still the centre whither their thoughts travelled and 
whence his letters and messages of love were sent forth 
to the ends of the earth. Open as the Bishop's home 
ever was to a wide and gracious hospitality, it must, 
like every home, have its shut door to shelter the 
sanctities and lovely intimacies of family affection. It 
has been truly said that : 

Not to unveil before the gaze 

Of an imperfect sympathy 
In aught we are, is the sweet praise 

And the main sum of modesty. 

It is because certain members of the family trust 
to the sympathy of the readers of this Life, that we are 
able to include a number of letters addressed by the 
Bishop as a father to his children when they were 
scattered abroad. It is not our purpose to intrude any 
editorial comment beyond what may be essential to 
link the letters together, but rather to let them speak 
for themselves with all their parental affection. 

In introducing them we cannot do better than quote 
part of the covering letter which accompanied them, 
written by the Bishop's eldest daughter, Mrs. Bruce, 
who, during later years, has been working with her 
father in the Western China Diocese. 

I have [she writes] been looking through my letters from 
Mother and Father, and send a selection from each. . . . They 
give insight into Father's everyday life, and also, in spite of his 
concentration on his work, into his thought and care for us. 

My parents' letters to me when I was far away from them, 
as I have often said were a very strong chain in keeping me 
near the Lord. Their trust in us, their love and prayer for us, 
and sympathy, bound us to them very closely. And when 

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God's love seemed unreal their love was sure, and though 
distant one knew they would be very sad if we did anything 
displeasing to the Lord. 

Again, their patient, self-sacrificing lives out here were 
always an incentive and inspiration to me. My Father was 
always my ideal of a man physically strong and courageous 
and sportsmanlike mentally not only using his whole mind 
for the good of his work, but interested in many things, ready 
to read to us in the evenings, and anxious that we should help 
him to keep his mind open to general literature. Spiritually, 
his prayers were never in ruts, but always fresh and helpful. 
He taught us to bring everyday things to God, and also to 
have broad sympathies. He truly worshipped God with deep 
humility and awe as well as regarding Him as a Friend and 
Adviser. The words " We bow at Thy feet ", or " We cast 
ourselves at Thy feet ", were expressions of this. 

Perhaps even more than his prayers, his real devotion to 
the Lord Jesus made a deep impression on me. This was the 
key-note of his life. All his work, his zeal and self-sacrifice 
were out of a burning love for the Lord. He has said to me 
more than once, " The test of any man's reality is, has he love 
for the Lord ". 

The few years I spent at home after I was nineteen were 
very happy ones. I was able to be a companion to him, to 
travel with him and thus relieve the loneliness of his long and 
trying journeys. I helped him with a few letters, statistics and 
accounts, and some odd jobs in those days. This was a great 
joy to me, and he on his part dragged himself away from his 
work to take some exercise for my sake. He also took a little 
relaxation in the way of lighter literature to be able to criticise 
it with me. 

My Father's care still followed me after my marriage, and 
his prayers for our home, and his grandchildren, every time he 
came over for a meal, were very wonderful, and we always felt 
he brought them right into the Lord's presence. 

With these intimate words from his eldest daughter 
by way of introduction, we shall now quote from the 
Bishop's letters to his children. 

SHANGHAI, January i6th, 1906. We have studied this [their 
school report] with thankfulness, and are glad you did so well 
in geography, etc., and had a good report for conduct, which is 
the chief thing of all. ... 



We shall probably be starting West on Monday, February 
5th, and then you will be longer again without getting any letter 
from us, and we shall be longer without your letters, and our 
hearts will be torn again by losing Gracie and Dorrie [going to 
Chefoo], poor little girlies ! 

s.s. Ta Yuen, above HANKOW, February i2th, 1906. The 
last letters we had were written from Penarth, and we were 
sorry that you, Jessie, had not gone to Croydon in time to hear 
the Oratorio at the Albert Hall a chance that you may not 
have again. You will now, I suppose, be well on into the new 
term at school, and I trust that you are both doing well. 

Oh, dear children, we long that you should overcome all 
temptation, and be drawn to love and serve the Lord Jesus more 
and more truly. Do avoid all evil companions and all hurtful 
things, and keep close to the Saviour. Remember your prayers 
and try and get some daily teaching from the Bible. Respect 
and obey your teachers, and never deceive them. Try to help 
each other to do right. 

The following letter is of considerable value giving, 
as it does, a detailed account of the Bishop's and Mrs. 
Cassels' daily life. 

September iSth, 1906. My dearest Children, my plan of 
writing to you a little each evening has been broken into. The 
reason is the old one time has failed. 

We have our evening meal at about 6.45 ; then follow 
English evening prayers. At about 7.30 P.M. I have to go to 
work with a teacher who cannot come at any other time. He 
is helping me with the revision of the Chinese Prayer Book. 
We generally work on till nearly 9.30 P.M. Then I have to 
reckon up the day's accounts with my servant, who pays out 
money for all sorts of things. This takes me over a quarter 
of an hour, which brings it to nearly 10 o'clock. By that time 
I have to clear up the work on my table and have my own 
evening prayers, so as to get away from my study at 10.30. So 
unless I work later, which in the hot weather is not easy, there 
is no time for writing then. So you have not had my daily 
letter for some time. 

To-night I am writing later than usual. Would you like to 
know how our day is passed ? 

Hot water and tea are brought to us at 6 o'clock each morn- 
ing and we get up. I generally leave the bedroom at about 
6.45 after reading Daily Light and a little prayer with Mother. 


Before going to my study for quiet I often have to see what 
workmen or servants are doing. The gong goes for Chinese 
prayer at 7.20, when the servants and any others about the 
place go into the room which is now turned into a Chapel for 
their own quiet prayers until 7.30. Then I come in (or else 
the Catechist, Mr. Hu, who helps me, or any one else who is 
leading prayers). There is prayer, singing of a hymn, and a 
little reading and exposition of Scripture. This lasts till nearly 
8, say 7.50. 

The breakfast bell goes at 8 o'clock. After breakfast we 
have what we call " Children's Prayers ". I ask Harold some- 
thing about the Children's Scripture Union portion which he 
has been reading to Linda before breakfast. He and Linda 
repeat the verse they have learned, we have a children's hymn 
and a short prayer. 

Then the Chinese barber plaits my hair, which is still so 
short that it has to be done every day to keep it together. [He 
was wearing Chinese dress.] 

By 9 o'clock Miss Maclaren, who lives at the Ladies' house, 
is here, and I go and dictate letters to her for a time half an 
hour or an hour it may be. Then I generally have work for 
my Chinese writer and assistant, Mr. Hu, Chinese letters to 
be read and answered, documents to give him to copy, and 
some matters to consult him about. All sorts of other matters 
turn up to be attended to, and all sorts of people to be seen, 
and the morning soon goes all too soon. 

Our noon-prayer is at 12.10 P.M. We now have it in what 
we call " the Chapel ", a room which used to be the dispensary 
when the Hospital was here, but was made into a Chapel for 
the Training Institute. It is a nice quarter of an hour. We 
often begin by singing, while kneeling : 

Jesus stand among us 

In Thy risen power : 
Let this time of worship 

Be a hallowed hour. 

According to my scheme we pray each day for 

One of the China Dioceses. 
One of the Rural Deaneries in this Diocese. 
The Gleaners' Union subject. 

The C.I.M. provinces scheme and other special and general 

We also have another hymn, and sometimes a short Psalm 
for the day. 


Dinner is at 12.30. After that well, during the extreme 
heat it was necessary to rest a little, and I used to look at a paper 
or magazine until I dozed. Then there were my letters to be 
read and signed and put up, stamped, weighed, addressed, 
sent to the Post Office or else sent off by some special messenger. 
This is no small matter when you have the number of letters 
I have. For instance, twenty- two have been put up and sent off 
to-day, and in a drawer there are nineteen more (circulars) 
which must be stamped and sent off to-morrow. 

Afternoon tea is at 3.30, and I generally try to get people 
who want to see me to come either then (for missionaries) or 
soon after (for others). For instance, yesterday I had Mr. 
Hannah for an hour, then Miss Barclay for another, also a visit 
from the new magistrate, who is just going to Pachow, and 

Other work it is hard to record. For instance, to-day I 
have been arranging rooms for the Training Institute which 
begins early in October ; drawing up a programme for a 
Clerical Conference which we are to have at Suiting in 
November ; giving some work to a carpenter, arranging with 
a business man to cash me a cheque, preparing an address for 
the English service to-morrow. 

Then at 6 o'clock, when it was getting dusk, I went out on 
my pony for a little ride down by the river, returning at 6.30 
to get ready for supper at 6.45. The rest I have already told 
you. And now being 11.15 P - M - I must go to bed. Good- 
night, dear children. 

P.S. You are all now back at work again, I suppose. 
Work hard and do your best. Set your face against all that 
is wrong, untrue or unholy. Obey your teachers, and above 
all, fear the Lord and love Him Who has loved you so. 

October igth, 1906. My dearest Children It is now about 
time to write you a letter to reach you at Christmas. ... It 
will be the second you have had in England without us. ... 
There is nothing to be got here in Paoning worth sending home, 
and I am not able to work you an antimacassar, or paint you a 
text, or make you a picture frame, etc. ! But I have asked 
Messrs. D. & S. to send you some stamps and postcards, and 
a little money order each, which may be useful if not orna- 
mental ! I have also asked them to send a fountain pen to 
Auntie Bertha for Christmas. How much we owe her for her 
kindness to you ! 

February i$th, 1907. My dear Jessie It is a long time 
since I have written to you. I was only at home for about a 


fortnight at Christmas, and then away again for a month, and 
it was really impossible to write while I was travelling and 
visiting stations. . . . Our hearts go out to you very much, 
dear girl, and we daily pray for you. We greatly enjoy your 
letters and they come regularly. As to your future, I have 
written frequently that you would find living here very dull 
unless you had some definite work on which your heart was 
set. If anything was really laid on you by God, and you were 
sure of being called to it, that would be different. You must 
pray to God saying : " Lord, what wouldst Thou have me 
to do ? " 

October nth, 1907. My dearest Jessie . . . And now you 
will be back at school again, and by the time this reaches you 
the term will be drawing to a close. I find one has to live in 
three different periods (i) The period at which your letters 
were written ; (2) The period at which I am writing to you ; 
(3) The period at which my letters will reach you. So just 
now I have to picture you, on the one hand, at Sutton-on-Sea 
walking about the shore, bathing or making little expeditions 
with Cecil and the others. On the other hand, I have to think 
of you as just having begun your new term and new year at 
school with the difficulties, which you generally find, of getting 
into things at the beginning of the term. And yet once again, 
I have to think of you as being well through the term and 
passing examinations, and looking forward to the holidays. 
Time and space are things which are largely comparative. It 
is said that we are annihilating them in these days, but, at any 
rate, we are re-arranging their proportions. 

C.M.S., MIENCHOW, February i6th, 1908. My dearest 
Jessie Auntie Bertha will have told you that I wrote to her to 
say that I had received a telegram from the Church Missionary 
Society with the word " Come ". So we have decided to go 
home via Siberia ! Think of it ! 

The next few letters refer to the Bishop's visit to 
England to attend the Pan- Anglican Congress and the 
Lambeth Conference. 

TIENTSIN, May 6th, 1908. My dear Jessie We arrived 
here from Peking to-day at noon, and found Graeie and Dorrie 
awaiting us. To-morrow and Friday we have with them, and 
on Saturday we have to start for Harbin. . . . Then there are 
ten days to Moscow. . . . 


Moscow, May 22nd, 1908. My dearest Jessie We 
reached here late last night or rather 2.30 this morning. After 
our cafe au lait this morning our letters were brought to us, 
and we were delighted to hear from you and Cecil. . . . There 
is not time now to tell you much about our journey. Thank 
God, all has gone well and we are in good health. The 
scenery on the line was very interesting in many places, especi- 
ally near Lake Baikal, the highest lake in the world, and crossing 
the Ural mountains. 

FULHAM PALACE, June i$th, 1908. My dear Jessie Mother 
has gone to the Albert Hall to-night, but I have stayed at home 
to write letters. This is my eleventh. 

I returned from Auckland Castle on Saturday. While there 
I had another attack of fever, and was confined to bed, so miss- 
ing a good deal of the intercourse with the large number of 
Bishops who were gathered there. 

On Monday we went to Westminster Abbey to the first 
service, and at night came here. I much enjoyed the service 
at the Abbey. The 5ist Psalm was first sung by the Precentor 
and Choir very slowly in procession, and then we had the 
Litany, etc. It was suitable to begin with a service of humilia- 
tion and supplication. 

At the Abbey door we met your Uncle Herbert, and in the 
afternoon Uncle James, who are both over from Portugal. 
To-day they both lunched with me, and Uncles John and 
Walter also came. Five of us together ! A most unusual 
meeting. [See page 272.] 

The following letter from Mrs. Cassels will supple- 
ment what the Bishop wrote : 

FULHAM PALACE, June igth, 1908. My darling Jessie. 
Every day is literally packed with engagements, and the only 

chance of writing is to stay at home from one of the meetings 

We went to Lord Strathcona's garden party last Monday. His 
place is at Knebworth in Hertfordshire. About seven thousand 
people were present. . . . Yesterday the Bishop of London 
had a garden party here. About six thousand were invited and 
came. The Bishop is so kind and good. He is greatly beloved 
by everybody. To-morrow we go to Windsor. I wish you 
could come to. We are going to the Prince and Princess of 
Wales' garden party, too, at Marlborough House on the 25th. 
We are invited to the Lord Mayor's dinner party on July ist. 
I think I shall refuse as it is a full dress party. 


Once again we return to the Father's letters. 

NATIONAL CLUB, Monday afternoon. My dear Jessie I was 
going to send you ten shillings for yourself, but I now send 
through D. and S. thirty shillings, so that you will have 1 
for your travelling expenses. Is that enough ? 

I am also sending you a little watch. I am sorry that there 
has not been time to regulate it. That must be done later. 
God bless you. I trust you will have a happy birthday. 

We have just been presented to the King and Queen at 
Buckingham Palace, and now I have another meeting. 

After returning to China, when travelling up the 
Yangtze, the Bishop wrote a rather humorous letter 
with reference to a relative, who, as a suffragette, came 
within reach of the arm of the law. 

s.s. KWEILEE, April 1909. My dear Jessie Aunt Bee seems 
to have taken the trouble to copy out these letters for your 
special edification. 

H has become a martyr whose name will go down to 

posterity along with that of Grace Darling and Joan of Arc, 
and many another heroine ! It was for the sake of the suffering 
and sweated women of England that she did the deed which 
will henceforth ring out in history. Marching with a band of 
other maidens from Caxton Hall they persistently harassed 
the anxious police, who were despicably defending the slavish 
House of Parliament from the valiant attack of these heroines. 
Six times they came on. (Thermopylae, hide your diminished 
head ! Balaclava, be never mentioned again after this !) 

No helmets daunted them. No base suggestions to " move 
on " quenched their deathless ardour. " To win or die in the 
attempt " was their cry. Until at last, so I gather from the 
papers, two kindly police suggested that they must go with 
them. The magistrate " bound them over to keep the peace ". 
To keep the peace ! But that would have been to break the 
solemn resolve made in Caxton Hall. No, never ! It is the 
prison that is my goal. Then will my fame be won. Then 
will the deed be done. Then will my name be enshrined among 
the immortals. And so to prison she went. 

You, I suppose, are a convert to the cause. But there is this 

difference. H writes affectionate letters to her parents and 

longs to see them. You have forgotten all about those letters 
that you were to have written your Father, and his existence 
seems to have faded from your mind ! He pines for letters, 


but none come, and after ten days' silence, from March i6th to 
26th, a solitary card is all you can find time for ! Alas ! 

The letters which follow were written during fur- 
lough necessitated by the heavy strain the Bishop had 
endured during the Revolution. 

WARE, HERTS, October loth, 1912. Dearest Girl-^-So nice 
to get your letter. . . . My view about the passage, " My 
Father worketh, etc." has been that there were different aspects 
of the " working ". In general God rested from Creation, but 
not from oversight and control. 

Dear Girl, the chief thing is to retain strong faith and burn- 
ing love to the Lord. Otherwise, I am glad for you to know 
the views of others. I like that passage in i Thessalonians v. 
which bids us to " test and try things that differ and select 
the best ". It runs : " Prove all things, hold fast that which 
is good." 

In October 1912, Mrs. Cassels wrote about the 
Bishop to her daughter : 

The Doctor advises him " to retire into some obscure and 
unknown land to be assured of the absolute rest which is 
essential ". Where is this place to be found ? and what will it 
cost to get there and live there for the appointed time ? 

Part of the much-needed rest was secured through 
a short visit to Switzerland, when he acted as Chaplain. 

LENK, BERNER-OBERLAND, February gth> 1913. I have 
decided to remain here over Wednesday . . . which is the day 
appointed for special intercession for the, guidance of Govern- 
ment. . . . On Thursday we hope to go on to Adelboden. 
On Friday I did some skating, and had one or two short walks 
with Mother, which she enjoyed. ... It is, indeed, a lovely 
day, and we feel very thankful to God for allowing us this treat. 
The snow soon falls off the trees, but it remains a beautiful pure 
carpet everywhere else. . . . How often we wish we could 
have you all with us here. How much you would enjoy it. 
Certainly it ought to do us a great deal of good. It is such a 
treat to have this beautiful pure air and bright sunshine. 

I think it has done dear Mother good already. She walks 
better than I have known her to do before. As I look back over 
the past years I see how gracious the Lord has been to her, 
and how much better she is than she was. 


The last of these letters to his children that we can 
quote is undated, but evidently relates to a later date 
when his daughter was in China. 

AN INN, 70 LI FROM SUITING, Friday night. My dear 
Jessie I write specially to say that I hope you will by now be in 
a position to send me the complete Diocesan statistics. . . . We 
have done two long stages of 120 or no li each day. . . . The 
weather has been pleasant, and fine, but rain is badly needed. . . . 

I have read Mankind and the Church, all but the last section, 
which is a very stiff philosophical argument as to what Hindu 
pantheism has to teach the Christian Church in these material- 
istic days. That seemed too little interesting for me, and so I 
did not finish it. 

The section on China was thin, but the sections on the 
contribution the negro race and the Japanese respectively have 
to offer to the Church were, I thought, excellent. ... I am 
now reading Chinese Characteristics. I was disappointed with 
the first chapters. They are written from a narrow point of 
view, and do not show a very wide knowledge of the best side 
of the Chinese. They greatly exaggerate certain of their faults 
in an unsympathetic way. But further on the writer shows 
more sympathy and a deeper and a wider knowledge of the 
better side of the people. So I have read on with more interest 
than I had at first. 

I often remember you all in prayer as I walk by the way or 
sit in my chair, and shall eagerly look for news. 

In closing this chapter we cannot do better than let 
Mrs. Bruce the Jessie of the letters tell of days spent 
with her father upon the road in China, when freedom 
from the routine of the station permitted him to unbend 
and give himself more freely to the beautiful fellowship 
of father and daughter. 

Some of the most delightful days of my life have been 
spent on the road with my Father. Once away from his study 
and the pressure of correspondence, he threw off some of his 
cares and enjoyed the change into the fresh country. 

How thoughtful and careful he was of one on the road, how 
considerate about the smallest things ; and not only for me, 
but for our servant and coolies it was just the same. One 
never wanted for aught that could make one's journey easier. 


In preparation no detail was forgotten. Everything at 
home had been so arranged that no extra burden might be 
laid on Mother, and no extra trouble to any one if he met with 
sudden accident. An itinerary of his movements had been 
given to Mother and others, and with his way paved by prayer 
we started out. Then, once on the way all business having 
to be temporarily left he was able to realise and appreciate 
afresh the beauty and the wonder of the land to which he had 
come " to give his life". 

When the coolies put down the chair for their rest, Father 
would suggest a walk. Sometimes he would tell of what he 
had been reading ; sometimes would discuss the road, the 
people and the scenes ; or would be drawn into some deeper 
talk, and, at my request, tell me his views on " Heaven " or 
" Baptism ", or any such-like thing. 

Then, always feeling a strain at walking up steep hills, he 
would get on old Dobbin and ride up the mountain-side, while 
I got into his big chair for a short time. 

At dinner, possibly at some market inn, when crowds of 
men gathered to see the foreign woman, he would ride old 
Dobbin round my chair, making his bells ring, or disperse the 
crowd with some humorous jest. 

Then, after the hasty meal, on we went again until, stiff 
with sitting, or cold and tired, he would ask if I was ready for 
another walk ; and gladly we tramped on, discussing all we 
saw and how near we were to our night's inn. At dusk, as 
the weary coolies made their last effort into the friendly inn, I 
found that he had sent his servant on to sweep and tidy up my 
room, and all my wants were first supplied, regardless of his 

After supper came the never-to-be-forgotten prayers, and 
when I had retired, prayer with the servant, his diary and any 
urgent letters written. 

Next day, called up by him at dawn, off we went again 
through the silent streets and misty fields. 

One day a chairman hurt his leg and vowed he could and 
would go no further, but when, with ointment and bandage, the 
wound was comfortingly dressed, and some jest made to cheer 
him, the man seemed strangely better, and found that he could, 
after all, manage to carry. 

Another day the rain poured unceasingly, and as we splashed 
and slipped and waded on, only Father's cheerful talk and 
determined will got us to our destination long after dark that 
night. Or when the rushing, rising river came to view and 
all the men agreed that no one could cross that day, somehow 


I cannot say how the chairs were taken head-high across the 
torrent after all ; or somewhere a boat was found, and with the 
help of all, and Father's most, was brought safely to land the 
other side. 

Another night an inquisitive and roughish crowd thronged 
round my room, on some small road ; they seemed to peer in 
on every side. But Father gathered them round him next door, 
and with tracts and texts preached to them until the coolies 
made them go, saying he needed to eat and rest. 

Again, one day brigands would be on the road, and fear on 
the faces of all, but, nothing daunted, Father would press on. 
He had his work to do, he said to us, and unmolested they let 
us by. 

Dangers by flood, when, with sudden rise of water, all the 
houses below him were swept away in the night ; dangers by 
fire, when the straw huts almost next door to the inn caught 
fire ; dangers of precipices, when his man and half his load 
were sent hurtling down the mountain-side by some landslip ; 
dangers of robbers, who next door planned their evil work ; 
dangers of sickness and accident were all met in the same un- 
daunted way ; and because he was in the path of his work, he 
came unflinchingly through them all. 

And so on, through the thronging villages filled with jostling 
crowds. " How many here have heard the Gospel ? " he 
would say. " How few among the teeming millions in this 
province have seen ' The Light.' How can one rest ? " 

On nearing the arrival at a station, Father would talk of 
problems in that place recent developments, recent dis- 
appointments and his face would show his preparation for 
all that would meet him there. 

There was always at least one friend, Chinese or foreign, 
to meet him, and with earnest talk and arrangements to be 
made for every moment of the time, we soon arrived. 

The warmest greetings, the preparations, the meetings and 
services, the prayer, the look of " A Vision of God " that 
marked the times before and during the Confirmation Services 
are very vivid, and can never fade. The " Anointing " which 
he prayed for on the Confirmation candidates was the most 
sacred and holy time of all for him and them, but that intense 
fire was only obtained by prayer and fasting, and left its mark. 
Sometimes with gladness and sometimes with sadness he left 
the station, but whichever it was his face seemed to say " This 
one thing I do, I press toward the mark, our conversation is in 
Heaven ". 


Blessed the natures shored on every side 
With landmarks of hereditary thought ! 

Loving those roots that feed us from the past, 
And prizing more than Plato things I learned 
At that best academe, a mother's knee. 


BEFORE we continue the story of the Bishop's labours 
we may still linger for a while longer around the 
domestic hearth, and as no one can speak with the 
same familiarity and authority as a member of the 
family on these things we add here some recollections 
from another daughter, Miss Grace Cassels. 

Children of missionaries are not privileged to experience 
many years of home life during childhood. Too soon demands 
of health and education on their part, conflicting with the 
claims of their parent's work, necessitate long periods of 
separation. Yet perhaps for this very reason the spells of home 
life they do enjoy stand out the more vividly in the memory 
because cherished and dwelt on when the reality was denied 

One's earliest recollections chiefly centre round one's Mother. 
One constantly saw her then, surrounded by Chinese women, 
but with all their claims on her she still found time to supervise 
our little lessons. One remembers such things as the story 
books she read to us particularly Pilgrim's Progress the 
children's hymns she taught us, the daily verse of a Psalm we 
repeated to her every morning, and evening prayers at her 
knee. Then there were the serious illnesses she nursed us 
through safely, unaided by medical advice, for there was none 



to be had in those days, and her only resources were prayer 
and the directions of some family medical book. 

The eldest of the family had the privilege of seeing more of 
Father as a little child than the rest of us, for after his consecra- 
tion his many episcopal duties kept him more tied to his study 
than formerly. 

One's clearest early recollections of him centre round his 
habit of prayer, and to the last this characteristic strongly 
impressed us. I remember my childish wonder when he did 
not appear at meals one day, and I was told, on asking why, 
that he was using the time for prayer. Again there stands out 
in memory the joyful day when he returned home safely to us 
after being in the wreck of the steamer Sui Hsiang. Four of 
us, between the ages of six and four, lined up and repeated to 
him Psalm xxxiv., which we had just learnt. He quoted again, 
" This poor man cried and the Lord heard him and saved him 
out of all his troubles ". " That was I ", he told us, before we 
knelt and he gave thanks for his restoration to us. 

Another picture of the family at prayer comes back to mind. 
The scene is the Yangtze, a few years later. The water is rush- 
ing into our wrecked house-boat which is tilted up at a sharp 
angle against the rock we have struck. We kneel round the 
table, and Father commits us all to the Heavenly Father's care. 
Again, " when we cried unto the Lord in our trouble, He 
delivered us out of our distress ". 

But it was not only in times of great emotion, times of danger, 
of parting or reunion that we knew Father was a man of prayer, 
but also in daily home life. Living at home, latterly, as an 
adult, one could appreciate his continual freshness, fervour, 
spontaneity and deep humility in prayer. There was no 
monotony about his prayers, and simplicity was coupled with 
dignity of language. Nothing was too unimportant to be a 
subject of prayer. All the details of a day's occupations would 
be brought to God. It was characteristic of his balanced mind 
that confession and petition blended in just proportion with 
worship and thanksgiving. When depressed by some set-back 
in the work or burdened by some difficult problem, Father often 
began prayer with the Sursum Corda, and one felt the rolling 
away of burdens in his voice with the words " Lift up your 
hearts. Let us give thanks unto our Lord God." 

Another feature of home life was the ceaseless activity of 
both my parents. Mother was often on her feet from morning 
till night, hardly sitting down for five minutes between meals 
unless listening to some poor Chinese woman pouring out her 
troubles into her sympathetic ear, or preparing for a class. 


When at last she had quiet time to herself in the evening she 
would sit up late writing to her absent children, often falling 
asleep over the letters from sheer weariness. 

Father also was a very strenuous worker. He hardly left 
his correspondence except for a short walk in the afternoon. 
If he were seen out of his study at any other time it would 
probably be in Mother's room trying to persuade her to rest, 
or inquiring how she was. Though he had a splendid constitu- 
tion himself , and did not know what it meant to be ill, it was 
beautiful to see his great considerateness and chivalrous gentle- 
ness towards Mother. No one could exceed him in thought- 
fulness for her. Mother herself suffered much at times from 
more than one complaint, but though she endured severe pain, 
sometimes for weeks or months, she refused to become a 
chronic invalid. The compelling forces that sustained her in 
her work to the end were love for her Lord and His service, 
and love for Father and desire to keep up for his sake, as he was 
always much distressed when she was confined to her room. 
Our parents never thought of lessening their work or taking life 
more easily as age began to creep over them and burdens grew 
heavier. They simply prayed more for strength to continue, 
and the atmosphere of home continued to the end to be one of 
strenuous courageous perseverance in work. 

Although Father allowed himself almost no leisure he was 
not inaccessible to us when we sought his advice or help, but 
was ever glad to lay down his pen and give his full attention to 
our affairs. He would always listen sympathetically to the end 
without interrupting before expressing his opinion. He was 
shy and reserved in speech about matters that lay nearest his 
heart, but his few words were straight and simple and to the 
point. His advice to his eldest daughter when she first went 
to school, " Be true to the Lord Jesus and be loyal to your 
teachers ", was typical of him as an old-fashioned Christian 

Though he was not one of those who talk for the sake of 
talking, if we succeeded in drawing him out in reminiscences, 
we would be well rewarded by the stories he could tell. Father 
had the charity that is " Slow to expose " (Moffat's translation). 
When others criticised people he would be silent, and when he 
himself was subject to criticism he would take it silently and 
humbly. One realised the true dignity and big-mindedness of 
his attitude in these ways. 

While his work obliged him to spend so many months of 
the year away from home (it has been reckoned that he spent 
ten years out of his forty in China riding in a sedan chair), yet 


he was not a man to whom the excitement and change of travel 
appealed more than the comforts and peace and regularity of 
home life. It was his greatest happiness (when his work did 
not call him away) to be at home with his wife and with some of 
his children round him, and it was a great joy to him that God 
had called three 1 of us to come back to Szechwan to share in 
his work. 

1 Mrs. Bruce (Jessie), Miss Grace Cassels and Mrs. Houghton (Dorothy), 
and his eldest son living, Cecil, is in H.M. Consular Service in China. 

[For some additional Personal letters letters from Bishop Cassels to his 
wife see Appendix.] 




That I may have whereof to glory in the day of Christ, that I 
did not run in vain, neither labour in vain. 

Yea, and if I am offered upon the sacrifice and service of your 
faith, I joy and rejoice with you all : and in the same manner do ye 
also joy and rejoice with me. ST. PAUL. 



" I will not leave you comfortless : I come to you." These 
words have been fulfilled at each crisis in the progress of the Church, 
and we believe that they are being fulfilled still. . . . The history 
of Christendom, up to the Reformation, falls into four periods of 
nearly equal length. The close of each period was followed by a 
time of danger and progress, of suffering and new birth, and each 
reveals to us the presence of Christ. BISHOP WESTCOTT. 

WITH the overthrow of the Manchu dynasty and the 
bringing in of the Republic, China and all connected 
therewith entered into a new period of history. In the 
story of the West China Diocese we have met occa- 
sional or sporadic troubles ; these were, henceforth, 
so far as Bishop Cassels' regime is concerned, to be 
perennial. The masterful rule of the famous Empress 
Dowager Tsu Hsi closed with her death, and the 
simultaneous decease of the Emperor Kwang Hsu in 
November 1908. In the two following years respec- 
tively the New Provincial and National Assemblies met 
for the first time, but the nation was not prepared for 
a steady constitutional development. In October 1911 
the long-planned and carefully organised revolution 
suddenly overthrew the Manchu rule and ushered in 
the new era. But the hoped-for millennium did not 
suddenly appear. From that time onward up to the 
date at which we write China's path was to be amid 
the whirlwind and the storm and the end is not yet. 

For sixteen years Bishop Cassels had exercised his 
episcopal duties under the old regime, and for another 



fourteen he was to know the new order or disorder as 
it might well be called. The period of his life's story 
upon which we now enter was a time of increasing peril 
and perplexity, and in this chapter we shall see how the 
revival of 1910 was followed by troubles on every hand. 
Long before the actual storm of revolution broke there 
had been many serious and ominous premonitory out- 
breaks, and the words which brought Bishop Cassels 
constant refreshment through these days of anxiety 
were : 

The Lord sitteth upon the water-floods, 

The Lord remaineth a King for ever. 

The Lord shall give strength to His people ; 

The Lord shall give His people the blessing of peace. 

For some months before the actual revolution burst, 
Szechwan had been in a state of unrest. The anti- 
dynastic spirit of the Canton province was being felt, 
the dispute over the delimitation of the Yunnan and 
Burma border was causing irritation, excessive taxa- 
tion was provoking the people, and lastly there came a 
provincial uprising against the use of foreign loans in 
the building of railways. Public offices were looted, 
police stations attacked, prisons broken open, wealthy 
pawnshops robbed, until a spirit of fear seized the 
people and even some responsible foreigners. This 
was a time of overwhelming labours and heart-breaking 
anxiety to the Bishop, who was concerned, not for his 
own personal welfare, but lest panic should overtake 
some of the workers. With his own heart stayed upon 
God and his natural courage fortified by his strong 
sense of duty, he became as a rock in the midst of a 

While keeping himself informed by reports from the 
stations and by instructions received from the British 
Consul- General at Chengtu, he for a time undertook 


the laborious task of sending out daily bulletins to the 
workers under him urging them to find their strength 
in quietness and confidence. Unhappily, a sub- 
ordinate Government official persuaded a missionary 
not in the diocese to send out a telegram to certain 
stations which created locally something in the nature 
of a panic. This pained the Bishop beyond measure, 
and he laboured both in prayer and correspondence to 
maintain or restore calm as the case might be. 

As early as September 3, 1911, five or six weeks 
before the real revolution broke, he said, " I have had 
to write nearly four hundred letters since the outburst 
of the unrest ". From a pile of correspondence before 
us all dealing with this period we can only select a few 
paragraphs from one or two of his circular letters sent 
out during September to illustrate his sympathetic 
watchful care. 

PAONING, gth September 1911. Though I cannot give you 
any fresh information, still I am anxious to write ; on the one 
hand, to express my deep and prayerful sympathy with you all 
at this time of anxiety ; and on the other hand, to utter an 
earnest warning against anything that would at all partake of 

After twenty-six years of experience of things in China, I 
venture to say that we have generally been too easily disturbed 
by rumours and unrest. Wisdom and watchfulness are needed, 
but our strength is in quietness and confidence, rather than in 
any hasty action, or in any undue efforts to provide for our own 
safety without considering the needs of the Church. 

PAONING, iith September 1911. I write once again to 
endeavour to express my deep sympathy with you in the 
anxieties through which you are passing. I also wish to thank 
you for kindly keeping me informed of what is going on in your 
station. . . . 

With regard to ourselves, I am most anxious that it should 
be borne in mind that it is most probable that God is going to 
use this agitation for the extension of His Kingdom and the 
advancement of the Church. The Taiping rebellion and the 
Boxer outbreak played their part towards the breaking down 


of idolatry, the shaking of old foundations and in making the 
preparation for the setting up of God's Kingdom. This new 
agitation may carry the work a great deal further. I would 
urge then that as far as possible we may be on the look out for 
the opportunities that God will be giving us for witnessing for 
Him at this time, in what, we cannot yet say. 

Arrangements may have to be made for the sick, weak and 
the young to be removed from the places where they will 
encounter much agitation and turmoil. But I earnestly trust 
that for the rest of us we shall be able to remain at our posts. . . . 
If I do not in every case write individual letters, I trust that 
you will be assured that you are on my heart and are remembered 
in prayer. May God be with you and guide you. 

PAONING, i6th September 1911. The weak, the sick and 
the young ought always, of course, to receive our earnest 
consideration. [The Bishop had one case much in mind, viz. 
the Rev. C. F. E. Davis, who was in a serious state at this time 
and died shortly afterwards.] But we cannot forget that the 
matter of the first importance is our witness for the Lord in 
this land, and we must consider how best we can help the 
converts, and build up the Church at this time. The walls of 
Jerusalem were built in troublous times. That is prophetic of 
the work of the Church in all days and is not to be regarded as 

The value of such letters to isolated workers cannot 
be over-estimated. Confidence in a leader inspires 
confidence in the follower, and many a worker in lonely 
and less-informed stations was helped by the strong, 
sympathetic and sane counsel continually received. 

But worse was yet to come. The storm of the 
Railway League with their train-bands of armed men 
seemed to be passing away when suddenly the news of 
the revolution, precipitated in Mid-China before all 
plans were fully matured, came like a clap of thunder 
upon Szechwan in common with many other parts of 
China. Almost immediately the Central Government 
ceased to function and general anarchy threatened. In 
Szechwan most of the smaller cities fell into the hands 
of brigand chiefs, many of the officials were killed, 


including the Viceroy Chao and the High Commis- 
sioner for Railways, H. E. Tuan Fang, who had saved 
the lives of many missionaries in 1900. 

It at once became evident to the Bishop that a more 
dangerous situation had arisen, and in his circular 
letters which were recommenced he wrote accordingly. 
Whilst strenuously opposed to retreat he recognised 
from the first the heavy responsibility of leaving ladies 
alone in their stations, and these were gradually with- 
drawn into the central stations, and as the situation 
became worse and consular instructions more insistent 
he began to make preparations for some to retire to the 
coast. It is interesting in the midst of this time of 
stress to get a glimpse of the Bishop himself, and this 
is afforded us by one of his personal letters to Bishop 
Talbot written on the anniversary of their Consecration. 

PAONING, St. Luke's Day, 1911. I have not written to you 
since your translation to Winchester, but I followed with much 
interest what I saw in the papers about it. Hitherto my chief 
interests have all been in Southwark, but the diocese will be 
a colder place for me now, and I, with others, shall miss you 

For once I am at home on St. Luke's Day. The unrest has 
made it necessary for me to remain at my centre. I shut 
myself in this morning from distractions and letters, and took 
the opportunity of seeking for stimulus and teaching, as well 
as fellowship with you, by reading a sermon from " Aspects 
of Christian Truth ". 

As the state of anarchy became more serious the 
Consul-General at length insisted on the missionaries 
leaving their stations. This was the last thing the 
Bishop had purposed for himself, and that he might 
remain he had laid in stores and silver, but at length 
the strain became too great and the responsibility more 
than he felt able to bear, and so by New Year's Day, 
1912, the Bishop and a company of missionaries there 


being thirty ladies and a number of children set off 
down river in half a dozen boats which had to run the 
gauntlet of brigand bands infesting the banks. 
When on the river he wrote : 

I had been writing round to the deserted stations saying 
that I hoped to visit them ere long, and had up till then done 
all I could to prevent others leaving, and now I am leaving 
myself ! It was a terrible trial, but I had endeavoured to 
follow what leading I had, and earnestly and insistently prayed 
up to the last that God would allow me to remain if it was not 
against His blessed Will. 

Somewhat later, when nearing Ichang, he wrote 
again : 

It was almost heart-breaking to go away, and all the way 
down I have regretted deeply having to leave. 

A few of the men missionaries had been able to 
remain, and at Suiting practically the whole staff were 
able to continue undisturbed. 

Upon arrival in Shanghai, Mrs. Cassels with a 
number of other missionaries left for England, but 
Bishop Cassels remained behind hoping to return to 
Szechwan shortly after the Anglican Conference which 
was held in April. It was at this Conference that the 
Constitution and Canons of the General Synod of the 
Anglican Church in China were adopted, and the first 
meeting of that General Synod fixed for April 1915. 

But much as the Bishop yearned to be back in 
Szechwan, and had made all necessary purchases in 
preparation for his journey, this was not to be. At 
first the British Minister and the Consuls were opposed 
to any missionaries returning West. Then came a 
cable from the Church Missionary Society in London 
urging his return to England, and lastly his own health 
demanded change, for after the long months of responsi- 
bility and strain there had followed a painful state of 


depression with even temporary periods of melancholy. 
Acting, therefore, on medical advice he, with his eldest 
daughter, left Shanghai for England by the Siberian 
route, the home country being reached on June i . 

It was during this enforced visit to England that 
the Bishop and Mrs. Cassels had the great joy of a 
little united family life, their children being with them 
not only in Gloucestershire, but also at Balmacara, as 
the guests of Lord Blythswood. And it was during 
this furlough that the Bishop and Mrs. Cassels visited 
Switzerland for a brief holiday, as already mentioned 
in the letters to his children. It may also be recorded 
that prior to leaving Shanghai the Bishop's eldest 
daughter had applied to and been accepted by the 
China Inland Mission, and during this furlough she 
went for special preparation to St. Christopher's 
College, Blackheath, her hope being to take charge of 
the Girls' School in Paoning, which had recently 
suffered the loss of its Principal by the death of Miss 
Aldis from typhoid fever. 

The strained condition of the Bishop's health made 
it imperative that this furlough should be prolonged, 
much to his regret. 

For myself [he wrote on the last day of 1912] I have to say 
with a big lump in my throat that I have at last yielded to the 
pressure which has been brought to bear upon me, and have 
postponed my departure for China. Mr. Hoste was one of the 
first to press this upon me, but since then many others have 
also taken the same line, and so I have been turned from my 
purpose, which was to return at once. 

The delay, however, enabled him to meet many 
friends of the work and to further some of the under- 
takings he had much at heart, such as the Hostel in 
Chengtu, the Theological College at Paoning, and the 
formation of a Committee of Help with Canon Barnes- 


Lawrence as Chairman. It was also during this time 
that the Chinese Government made its sensational 
appeal for prayer, about which the Bishop wrote an 
article for the Church Missionary Review. 

It was not until the late autumn of 1913 that the 
Bishop and Mrs. Cassels with their eldest daughter 
were able to return to China, Shanghai being reached 
on December 9. 


Then said Christian to the Porter : 

" Sir, what House is this ? " 

The Porter answered : 

" This House was built by the Lord of the hill, 

And He built it for the relief and security of Pilgrims." 


DURING the greater part of Bishop Cassels' absence at 
home the building of the new Church at Paoning had 
been going forward, the dimensions and many other 
details having to be determined apart from him. All 
arrangements were in the hands of a Building Com- 
mittee composed of Chinese and foreigners with Mr. 
George Rogers as superintendent of the actual work of 
construction . Nearly a thousand trees had been bought 
and transported to the site after exciting adventures 
amid flooded rivers ; tens of thousands of bricks had 
been burned and quantities of stone secured, but after 
operations had commenced they were for a time 
suspended by reason of the chaotic state of the country. 
The long exposure of unprotected material to heavy 
rains and blazing suns entailed heavy loss, for prices 
for new supplies meantime soared. But as the strong 
man rejoices in the race so the ardent workers at 
Paoning found new zest with each added difficulty. 
No pains were spared to secure a worthy building, and 
no precautions were neglected to prevent accident. 
With his own hands Mr. Rogers secured the scaffold- 
ing, often working at perilous heights with an anxious 



wife watching below. The edifice was planned on a 
somewhat larger scale than the Bishop had anticipated, 
but subsequent events fully justified this enterprise. 
It was a remarkable and gratifying fact, prophetic, it 
was hoped, of spiritual realities, that long before the 
building was completed it was looked upon locally as 
the only safe place during periods of fighting, the 
officials and people alike seeking refuge under the 
shelter of the unfinished structure. The very courage 
of the builders who builded in such troublous times 
inspired hope and confidence in others. 

But we must return to Bishop and Mrs. Cassels at 
Shanghai, which port they reached early in December 
1913. The Bishop had returned full of high hopes for 
the future, and had in so doing declined a tempting 
offer which had been made to him at home, an offer 
which would have enabled him to use his unique 
experience for the extension of God's Kingdom abroad, 
and yet gather his children around him at a time when 
they were having to face all those problems of life 
which come with adolescence. But as he had declined 
the offer to succeed Bishop Moule in Mid-China, so 
after mature consideration he also declined the proposal 
of the Church Missionary Society that he should join 
their home staff. West China was his " first child ", 
his first love, and he would not be turned aside. 

The Bishop's letters to the Rev. C. C. B. Bardsley, 
then Honorary Secretary of the Church Missionary 
Society, and now Bishop of Peterborough, re this 
invitation are such a revelation of his single-eyed 
devotion that some extracts must be given. To give 
careful consideration to this subject he decided, instead 
of going on board his vessel at London, he would join 
it at Marseilles, and on the eve of departure he wrote 
as follows : 


$ih November 1913. 

MY DEAR BROTHER Instead of the long letter I had contem- 
plated, I must write only briefly. . . . 

It would be a joy and an inspiration to work with you if, 
as I believe, you would be long-suffering and forbearing 
towards a weak brother. 

My own powers I do greatly distrust, but if I may accept 
the judgment of Canon Barnes-Lawrence and Dr. Stock, I 
might perhaps (casting myself wholly upon the enabling grace 
of God) venture to attempt the work. 

But the great field of China still fills my vision every man 
seems needed, even the least of us. And the work of my diocese 
presses heavily upon me. . . . 

As you know, we were turned out hurriedly at the Revolu- 
tion and everything was left in disorder. I have now had a long 
absence, and ordinations, confirmations, organisations, etc. 
all are at a standstill .... 

The only thing I can do is to postpone a final decision until 
I get on board the Malwa at Marseilles, and, if the elements will 
allow it, try to get a quiet day or two for earnest prayer that I 
may be guided aright. 

If an immediate answer is required it must be that I cannot 
leave my diocese without clearer light. 

But I do not wish to mistake any plan that the Lord may 
have for me or rather for His Work for it is that I am concerned 

Continue your prayers that God may be glorified in this 

With love in Christ, and praying that much blessing may 
attend your own labours. I am, Yours very sincerely, 


P.S; I have just read this to my wife who quite agrees to 
it all. She sends her warm remembrances to you and Mrs. 
Bardsley. W. W. C. 

P. & O.S.N. Co., s.s. MALWA, 
loth November 1913. 

MY DEAR BROTHER Your letter of November 4th was 
delivered to me at Charing Cross on Thursday morning as the 
train was leaving. 

There was no possibility of writing from Marseilles, so 
Port Said is the first place from which I can post a letter. 


I need hardly say that I have given all the thought and 
prayer I could to the matter during these days. 

Your letter and Dr. Stock's have moved me not a little, and 
if I could forget my diocese the decision would be easy. . . . 

As to the diocese, I have tried to face the fact that I shall 
have to leave it some time sooner or later. I have tried to 
realise that some one else might do my work better, bringing 
new ideas and fresh vigour and other qualifications to the 
work. . . . 

Then again it is pressed upon me that it is a bad time to 
make a change just now when things are rather disorganised. 
The proverb warns us against " swopping horses when crossing 
a stream ", and seems to have an application to the present 
position in the diocese. 

You will see that I am trying to consider the matter apart 
from my personal preferences. I mean my love for my 
diocese, with which I have been linked from the first. I hope 
I love it too well to stay on if it would be better for me to 
leave it. 

But the conclusion to which I come again and again is that 
I have not sufficient light to lead me to give up China and my 
diocese. . . . 

I do not know how I should face my fellow- workers, and 
less do I know how I should face the home churches, if I should 
leave China without the clearest light and the loudest call. 

I do pray that God will bless and sustain you in your 
arduous labours and in your self-sacrificing devotion at home. 
I trust He will give you a glorious victory over the difficulties 
you allude to and I trust that He will raise up some far better 
man for the work at home if He is keeping me still in China. 
With much love in Christ, I am, Your affectionate brother, 


In the light of this correspondence and of his whole- 
hearted devotion to the work in West China, it will be 
realised with what keen and almost bitter disappoint- 
ment he found, on arrival in Shanghai, a letter awaiting 
him, signed by a number of the C.I.M. workers in his 
diocese, which suggested a lack of confidence. To 
draw a veil over this unhappy episode would be more 
pleasing than to refer to it, but we are not writing fiction 
but a life. More than two years had elapsed since the 


workers in the diocese had been scattered by the revolu- 
tion, and many thousands of miles had separated the 
Bishop from his flock during the long, anxious and 
nerve-trying months which followed. This was more 
than time enough for the proverbial mole-hill to become 
a mountain, and for substantial fears to arise that the 
building of a pro-Cathedral foreshadowed ecclesiastical 
developments foreign to the simplicity of earlier days. 
Unhappily, some of the Bishop's best friends were, in 
an unguarded moment, beguiled into signing the letter 
drawn up by, to put it mildly, not the most prudent of 
the party. When it was too late they would have given 
their right hand to have been able to erase their signa- 
tures, but the letter with its painful implications had 
been despatched to await the Bishop's arrival. From 
things apparently insignificant serious misconceptions 
were in danger of arising, as an avalanche can be dis- 
placed by a whisper, or a city set in flames by a 

There is no doubt that had the Bishop foreseen this 
letter the whole current of his life would have been 
changed, for he frankly told one or two personal friends 
that had he known it before leaving England he would 
have regarded it as a providential indication that he was 
to accept the offer of the Church Missionary Society. 
Instead he now took the strong and manly course of 
visiting without delay the stations affected, with the 
result that misunderstandings speedily vanished as the 
mists do before the rising sun. The Bishop though 
strong, and possibly at times masterful and what good 
work has ever been accomplished by weakness could 
be humble even to tears if he felt that he had grieved 
or wounded any one. 

In his first letter to his friends at home after his 
arrival in the diocese, he wrote : 


Our return has not been without trials and difficulties, but 
the anticipation was far worse than the realisation, and we are 
surrounded with the loving-kindness of the Lord. 

Without cherishing his sorrows he was speedily im- 
mersed in the duties that awaited him. In thirteen 
stations visited before he reached his home he had 
confirmed two hundred and six persons, had dedicated 
some new churches, and within a few weeks of reaching 
Paoning he had ordained to Deacon's and Priest's 
orders six Chinese and foreign candidates. 

Then followed some arduous weeks of travelling to 
visit the C.M.S. stations in the West, these journeys 
being made more exacting than usual because of his 
desire to be back in time for a special mission to be 
held in Paoning by Rev. Ting Li-mei, who has been 
called the Moody of China. 

Though I have for some days [he writes] been travelling 
one hundred and twenty li a day in order to get back for Pastor 
Ting's meetings, and though I was up at 4 o'clock this morning, 
yet I find it necessary to endeavour to do some letter writing 
at night lest I should be overwhelmed at the end of my journey. 

One thing that had particularly pleased him during 
these early visits to the stations was the fact that some 
of the children brought to him for Baptism were 
" fourth generation Christians ", that is to say, their 
parents, grandmother, and great-grandmother were all 
Christians, and were present at the service. This was 
a pleasing indication of the way in which the Gospel 
was taking root. There were other indications also 
revealed in matters of organisation and tangible struc- 
tures, such as the formation of a Diocesan Synod and 
the progress of the new Church. Though the spiritual 
was ever first and foremost, the Bishop recognised in 
these outward and visible things signs of inward and 
spiritual grace, and it was, therefore, with unfeigned 


thankfulness that he saw the new Church approaching 
completion. To him the building was a symbol, and 
to one who had watched the growth of the work from 
its small and difficult beginnings, and like a nurse had 
cherished it as his own child, how could it be otherwise ? 
Anxious that the Church in the West should be 
closely knit to the Church of God in other parts of 
China he had urged Bishop Roots, his nearest episcopal 
neighbour, to come and preach a series of sermons in 
connection with the opening of the new building, 
although this entailed a journey of some fifteen hundred 
miles and an expenditure of two months of valuable 
time. To Bishop Roots this at first seemed impossible, 
but a fuller consideration of all the issues involved, 
together with the encouragement of his Council of 
Advice, caused him favourably to reconsider the invita- 
tion which he had at first declined. The brotherly act 
of Bishop Roots, an American, in coming for the 
consecration of the pro-Cathedral in the diocese of 
Bishop Cassels, an Englishman, in the early days of the 
Great War, was far more than a mere episcopal function. 
The spirit in which Bishop Roots undertook this 
important ministry can best be illustrated by a few 
lines from his letter acceding to the request : 

I can hardly exaggerate the eagerness with which I anticipate 
this visit. I have long wanted to see Szechwan, but really I 
have very little interest in sight-seeing, apart from the persons 
and the work of the Kingdom connected with the sights. 
Szechwan, however, stands for so much, both in China as a 
nation and in the Chung Hwa Sheng Kung Hwei, that I cannot 
but be eager to know it at first hand. Moreover, at this present 
juncture in the life of the Church, which is necessarily deeply 
affected by the terrible war in Europe, I look forward to meeting 
you and your colleagues, both the Chinese and the foreign 
staff, and the Christians in general, as an opportunity to have 
our common faith and life deepened and strengthened to meet 
the immense tasks which lie before us. More particularly do 
I prize this opportunity to see you again, and to talk and pray 



with you over those great matters which are constantly drawing 
us closer together in the work of God. 

All this fills me with trembling, as well as with joy, because 
it would be so calamitous to miss an opportunity like this. . . . 

How wonderful it is that China should be one of the most 
peaceful and secure places in the world just now ! I pray that 
peace in this land may continue and that the journey to which 
you invite me may be made, and may be of some use in helping 
forward the co-operation of our two dioceses in the Chung Hwa 
Sheng Kung Hwei, to the advancement of the Kingdom of God. 

" The Bond of Prayer," of which we have spoken so often, will 
be more real and stronger than ever during the coming weeks. 

In reply to this Bishop Cassels wrote : 

I have received your most welcome letter of November 2nd 
here to-day, and I have written to catch you at Wanhsien to 
tell you how extremely delighted and pleased and thankful I 
am that you can after all come. ... 

What I hope is that you will preach at the Consecration of 
the Church (pro-Cathedral) say on Sunday aoth, also at the 
Ordination which will take place on one of these days. 

And if you can give a little talk to the Candidates for Ordina- 
tion (once or twice) at the Quiet Day before the Ordination, I 
shall be most glad, and I would get our two or three other 
Chinese clergy to be present. 

Then there will be the Christmas and other services at 
which we shall hope you would preach. I am rushing back 
to Paoning at once to push on with the Church. It will be 
usable at Christmas but not finished. 

This visit was a memorable occasion and marked 
another stage in the growth of the work. The last 
service in the old Church was held on Sunday, 
December 13, 1914, within a week of the twenty-first 
anniversary of its opening. It was an affecting and 
inspiring memory to look back over those twenty-one 
years. Then, the Paoning Church had been the only 
Church with almost the only congregation in the whole 
region. Since then, however, it had become the centre 
of a diocese with over one hundred stations and out- 
stations, many of which had now finer churches and 
larger congregations than Paoning had known in those 







early days. It was therefore appropriate that the 
Bishop should choose for the closing services of the 
old Church the following texts : " The Lord hath done 
great things for us whereof we are glad ", and " Thou 
shalt see greater things than these ". 

Of the services conducted by Bishop Roots space 
will not permit us to speak in detail. A congregation 
of from twelve to fifteen hundred people thronged the 
new building for the dedication sermon, while as many 
as two thousand managed to gain admittance, by stand- 
ing, on another occasion. The building itself was far 
from complete, for the floor was simply beaten down 
earth, most of the windows were still unglazed, and the 
doors had not been placed in position. But what 
mattered most was the presence of the Lord Himself. 
The only prayer of the Bishop and of others was that 
the glory of the latter House might be greater than the 
glory of the former. 

I do desire [wrote the Bishop] that it may be a place for 
holy and reverent worship, for real spiritual prayer and inter- 
cession, for heartfelt praise and thanksgiving, for the reading 
of " the very pure Word of God, the Holy Scriptures ", as well 
as for the powerful and convincing preaching of the Gospel, 
with all that that includes. 

We would that our story ended here, but few joys 
are unmixed with pain, and we would not suggest that 
there were no shadows upon this glad occasion also. 
The presence of two Bishops in their Convocation robes 
appeared to some a stately innovation in their former 
humble Mission station, and when the Chinese Church- 
wardens desired the congregation to stand at the 
offertory, and still more when some flowers were placed 
within the chancel rails, in two handsome vases which 
had been presented to the Bishop, the protests of one 
or two of the lady workers found vent. 


It is almost impossible to exaggerate what this meant 
to Bishop Cassels, though we would not over-emphasise 
a passing episode. To him the dedication of this pro- 
Cathedral was the climax of long years of arduous toil, 
of much hardship and suffering, and in the consumma- 
tion of many prayers and consecrated effort he was 
filled with joy and even with elation . That discontented 
voices should at that moment be heard was an anti- 
climax which for the moment overpowered him. If 
we were writing history the incident would be negli- 
gible, but in a biography it is otherwise. The Bishop 
was most deeply affected, from a state of exhilaration 
of spirit he was cast down for a time into the depths, 
and the following letter written under the stress of deep 
feeling is, as a study of his character, of more value 
than a score of letters written under normal conditions. 

By way of explanation it may be stated that in view 
of the approaching Jubilee of the China Inland Mission 
and the publication of the Mission's Jubilee Story, the 
Bishop had been approached for a brief history of the 
Paoning station. 

I wrote out some notes last week [he says] for the History 
as I had promised to do ; and had hoped to develop them as 
soon as our special services in connection with the opening of 
the new Church were over. But now a thunderbolt has 
burst .... 

So I have now neither heart nor time to go on with the 
History notes. I cannot write happily or hopefully about a 
work which to human appearance seems likely to end in 
sad cloud. . . . Here are my rough notes if they are any 
good. 1 

1 The author has these notes with corresponding notes from other stations 
in the Mission in typescript all bound in three large volumes. It is in these 
notes that the Bishop calls attention to the place Christmas Day had in his 
life. It was on Christmas Day he first set foot in Paoning, on another 
Christmas Day the first Church was opened, at another Christmas season 
he had been wrecked in the Yangtze, and at this, another Christmas season, 
the pro-Cathedral had been dedicated. 


Of course, the devil did not like to see from one thousand 
to fifteen hundred people flocking in to the new Church during 
the special services, and he has tried hard to upset things and 
spoil the work that had begun. 

I spent several hours this morning talking to Miss . 

It was a nice talk and I felt drawn to her. She confessed to 
being terribly bigoted and said she knew how foolish she was, 
and yet with no special call from the Lord to any other sphere 
she prefers to close her school and send away the girls to 
heathen homes rather than ever enter that Church again, 
because the service is not just as she likes, or the arrangements 
just what she has been accustomed to. ... 

I cannot allow the Church arrangements to be made by 
faddists who at once threaten to resign if they do not have 
everything their way, and I cannot narrow down the Church 
system beyond the recognised Evangelical lines which I have 
been accustomed to all my ministerial life, and promise (as I 
am asked to do) that never in future will the service be conducted 
except as some narrow-minded people wish. 

Two or three days later, when matters had assumed 
their more reasonable proportions in his mind, he wrote 
in a somewhat lighter strain about it all. 

Life [he said] must be a steeplechase with obstacles to be 
surmounted all the way. It is the very pettiness of some of 
these obstacles that causes the trouble. ... I can neither 
stultify the past nor compromise my successors in the future 
by acceding to the request under threat of resignation, that 
never again shall God's sweet gift of flowers be allowed within 
the Chancel rails or even the vases in which they might be 

It is always easy to criticise, but the critic is fre- 
quently unaware of the full measure of difficulties faced 
by those he criticises. Had those who found fault with 
the Bishop this time known all, they would probably 
have felt other than they did. We have already seen 
Bishop Cassels writing to object to the use of certain 
words in the revision of the Chinese Prayer Book. 
Though it belongs to a somewhat later period we 
cannot do better here than introduce what he subse- 
quently wrote when the revision of the Prayer Book 


reached the section dealing with the Holy Communion. 
In a letter to Bishop Roots in November 1924, he says : 

You write about a proposed alteration in the Holy Com- 
munion Service. One feels one has to move very warily in 
these days in all matters that bear upon changes in the present 
Service of Holy Communion. Take, for example, the much- 
debated question of Reservation. 

Reservation for immediate, or what is called " concurrent ", 
administration to the sick or those unable to attend appears to 
be ancient, seemly and unobjectionable : but now that we 
are being plainly told that Reservation is desired, not simply 
for this purpose, but for the adoration of the elements in the 
Church, whether by individuals or in public services, we have 
surely to be on our guard against granting Reservation in any 

And so with regard to the proposed change in the position 
of the Prayer of Humble Access. Many changes in its position 
have been suggested. For example, the National Assembly 
Revision of 1923 (which is usually called " N.A. 84 ") suggests 
taking the Prayer of Humble Access after the Comfortable 
Words and before the Sanctus, and that seems to me to be 
unobjectionable. Others, particularly the compilers of what 
is called " The Grey Book ", wish to keep the words where they 
are. But it is the English Church Union which is making the 
most drastic and, it seems to me, dangerous alterations in the 
Service, which wishes to put the Prayer of Humble Access in 
the position which you indicate. Therefore I am afraid of it 
without just now going carefully into my reasons. 

I, too, am getting out a new edition of the Prayer Book, 
though one feels one is absolutely incompetent to make revision, 
but I must say I dare not touch the Holy Communion Service, 
excepting, of course, such uncontroversial matters as the 
occasional use of the summary of the Law and the omission 
of the Prayer for the King after the Decalogue. 

This, I think, is all that I have to say about the particular 
subject of your letter. 

The outburst, such as it was, passed, though 
two disaffected workers subsequently left for other 
spheres. But within a fortnight of the writing of 
the letters quoted overleaf the Bishop had the more 
happy duty of officiating in the pro- Cathedral at the 


marriage of his eldest daughter to Mr. P. A. Bruce 
of Trinity College, Cambridge, who had, for some 
three years, been one of the missionary staff. As 
Mr. Bruce eventually took charge of the Paoning 
Boys' Middle School the Bishop and Mrs. Cassels 
did not lose their daughter from their missionary com- 
pound, and they also had the joy of looking forward 
to another of their daughters, Dorothy, joining them 
ere long to be companion to her mother. 

Meanwhile the terrible war still raged in Europe, 
and the Bishop's two sons joined up, the one from 
Cambridge, and the other from school. Both in the 
mercy of God were brought through that terrible ordeal 
alive, though not without suffering, the younger one 
having to endure the cruel hardships of a prisoner of 
war in Germany for many weary months. In common 
with millions of his countrymen the Bishop, though so 
far removed from the actual seat of conflict, felt his 
life overshadowed by the appalling and prolonged 
frightfulness of such a strife. Yet never did he slacken 
either his prayers or his efforts in that great spiritual 
warfare in which he was engaged. 


Does the road wind up-hill all the way ? 

Yes, to the very end. 
Will the day's journey take the whole long day ? 

From morn to night, my friend. 


FROM the opening of the new Church at Christmastide, 
1914, up to the Bishop's next furlough in 191 9, there is 
no outstanding event which dominates his story. This 
is not that the period was devoid of great experiences, 
but rather because the tragic and dramatic in life were 
so overwhelming as to become almost commonplace. 
As in Europe so in China, though on a smaller scale, 
tragedy became the normal lot. Battles on land and 
torpedoed ships at sea so staggered the imagination of 
man in Europe that it almost ceased to function in mere 
self-defence. And so it was in China. Brigandage 
and civil strife became an everyday occurrence, so that 
the missionary pursued his calling amid the looting and 
burning of cities and the untold sufferings of his 

Bishop Cassels on his arrival in China had, as we 
have seen, been compelled to go down for a time into 
the valley of humiliation. He was now confronted with 
the Hill called Difficulty, and he found the road wind 
up-hill to the end of his life. Happily there was, as 
Bunyan with his spiritual insight tells us, a spring at 
the foot of this hill, and of this our pilgrim Bishop 

drank freely. And he knew also how to drink of the 



Rock by the way, " and that Rock was Christ ". If 
we may follow Bunyan's allegory a step further we 
would say that Bishop Cassels did not, like Christian, 
leave his Roll in the Arbour, but " read therein to his 
comfort " and constantly " began afresh to take a 
review of the coat or garment that was given him as 
he stood by the Cross ". We must remember that 
all through these years there was in the background of 
his mind the appalling war in Europe, and this is 
constantly referred to in his correspondence. Distance 
does not diminish pain when those of one's own blood 
are suffering ; and loved kinsmen of his were killed, 
and his own sons' lives imperilled. Acute distress 
came into his home in that distant part of China when 
a War Office telegram reported that his younger son, 
who had recently gained " his wings ", was missing, 
and for a time the mother pined beneath the agonising 
silence and suspense which followed. It was with a 
sigh of relief not unmixed with sorrow, however, that 
a cable from their missing boy in Germany was received, 
a cable which took twenty days to travel from Shanghai 
to Paoning, which fact alone reveals the unrest prevail- 
ing in China. It was a huge comfort to know he was 
alive, though a prisoner of war and one who suffered 

Nor was the Bishop able to forget the war for other 
reasons. One of his brightest workers, the Rev. J. R. 
Stewart, son of the beloved martyr of Kucheng, who 
after seven years of work in West China had joined up 
as a Chaplain to the forces, was killed at the front. 
Another promising recruit, Mr. V. H. Donnithorne, 
had volunteered for the war and thus delayed his going 
out as one of the much-needed reinforcements. Then 
the Rev. and Hon. O. St. M. Forester, who had been 
doing valuable service at the Hostel in Chengtu, was 


transferred to Japan for work among the Chinese 
students there. Nor was this all, for the Rev. A. 
Bradley fell ill and was invalided home. Mrs. Phillips 
and Mrs. Clarke, too, were seriously and even fatally 
ill, and last but not least Miss MacLaren, his indis- 
pensable stenographer, took sick shortly after her 
furlough and despite all that could be done she died. 
Bereft and weakened on every hand the Bishop was 
compelled to leave the Word of God and serve tables, 
" that is ", he wrote, " the writing table, for I can 
seldom leave it. Is it right ? " 

And then to add further anxiety there came circular 
letters from the British Consuls urging all men of 
military age, even those on the mission field, to volun- 
teer for war service, which appeals for a time seriously 
disturbed and disconcerted some, his son-in-law 

To follow the story of those years of war in Europe 
and of civil strife in China is impossible in detail. 
West China was, in some respects, shut off in part from 
the main struggle which centred round Peking and the 
lower Yangtze valley. The names of the great War 
Lords which made themselves famed in Manchuria, 
North China, and in the South did not figure much in 
the West, secluded as Szechwan was behind the Yangtze 
Gorges. And the cross currents of the conflicts in 
those parts are so complex that any attempt to relate 
them would needlessly confuse the reader even if it 
were possible to recall them. After the overthrow of 
the Manchu Government, which was an understandable 
objective, the strife deteriorated into a sordid and 
bloody squabble for place and power with little rhyme 
or reason. 

The story of The Vicar of Bray [he writes] has been con- 
stantly illustrated by the way in which officials and others have 


abandoned their political principles, if they ever had any, to 
suit their convenience and their tenure of office. For example, 
when a city has been captured by the revolutionary party the 
officials have soon found that their policy was to become 
revolutionaries, and to let their previous views go to the wall. 
Or again, when a brigand chief has captured a city the Provincial 
Authorities, instead of sending troops to seize him and have 
him shot for insurrection and murder, have found that, under 
the present disturbed condition of things, their best policy was to 
recognise his position and put him in charge of the city with 
rewards and honours for his services to the State ! . . . 

In this province, for example, there have been half a dozen 
nominal Governors in as many months, but none of them have 
had any power outside the Capital, indeed some of them have 
had but little power even in Chengtu itself. Again, in a neigh- 
bouring city there have been five successive magistrates in the 
space of three months. 

It is almost, if not quite impossible, as the Bishop 
suggests, to detect any guiding principle or settled 
policy behind the ceaseless fighting. Szechwan soon 
became filled with armed men, either local troops 
or invading forces from south and north. It also 
became impossible to distinguish between troops 
and brigands, or to know which the people feared 
most. It was estimated that no fewer than one 
hundred and twenty thousand men armed with 
modern weapons of precision were infesting the 
province of Szechwan alone, and these men were 
by violence and press-gang methods carrying off un- 
protected and innocent citizens and even boys to be 
their servants. 

The burning and looting of cities, of towns and 
villages, became almost too common an occurrence to 
report, and the Bishop mentions, as though he were 
almost ashamed to allude to it, that Mission stores 
worth 100, destined for workers in his diocese, had 
been stolen by brigands en route. This loss was, in 
comparison with the sufferings of the people, so in- 


significant that he apologises for mentioning it, and yet 
how much it meant to many a hard-pressed mother 
with her children. Even Chengtu, the Capital, was 
looted, burned, and almost destroyed, and the Hostel 
for which the Bishop had laboured so assiduously was 
seriously damaged. Throughout his letters of this 
period phrases such as " Things go from bad to worse " 
became almost a refrain, and yet amid it all great 
opportunities of service prevailed. 

Never in my experience of thirty years [he writes in 1916] 
have missionaries had so much influence with officials, people 
and even with brigand chiefs, as during the past months. 
Again and again have they been called in to act as peace- 
makers and go-betweens. They have secured protection for 
ousted officials and for defenceless women and children ; they 
have obtained from brigands more moderate terms for the 
cities they have captured ; they have > even procured safe 
passage for Government troops through districts held by power- 
ful brigand bands. 

And the Bishop could have related, though he does 
not there, that he personally had been called upon more 
than once to interpose between contending factions, 
and that all the officials of Paoning had, at one time or 
another, taken refuge in the Mission premises. Amid 
a country ravaged by contending armies he continued 
unceasingly to travel, moving from place to place 
almost as though with a charmed life. 

In one of his letters he writes : 

The Kwangan district is infested with robber bands ; one 
official was lately captured and cruelly murdered ; the heat was 
extreme and I suffered from fever, but Isaiah xli. 10 (" Fear 
thou not ; for I am with thee ", etc.) was a great comfort, and I 
was much helped in my work. . . . 

On another of his journeys to the coast and back 
he was wrecked again. Concerning this experience he 
wrote : 


I was not at all happy about booking a passage on s.s. Sui Yii, 
and I should certainly have waited for the Shu Hen if the 
C.I.M. house (at Ichang) had not been shut up, but as it was 
there seemed to be no other course if I was to get on at once. 
A launch of 280 horse-power built for Hunan waters did 
not seem the most suitable thing for the rapids, and the name 
Sui Yii was rather too like that of the Sui Hsiang [the ship in 
which he had previously been wrecked] and the German built 
engines and the experimental trip were too suggestive, not to 
be remarked on. Still we got as far as the Yeh-t'an [Wild 
Rapid] without a smash, there the vessel nearly upset and how 
it righted itself when it was across the force of the stream I do 
not know. But it finished up by running into a rock and got 
half full of water. But it did not go down. . . . We came on 
here by Chinese boat, the best thing (and it was bad enough) 
that we could get hold of. I thank God for His overruling 
care and preserving providence. 

How much time the Bishop spent upon the road 
during those years of disturbance may be gathered from 
the following facts. During one year he was away 
from his home engaged in travelling exactly one 
hundred and eighty-five days, or a little more than 
half a year. On a subsequent occasion he reports 
that during eighteen months he had travelled three 
thousand six hundred miles. 

In the days of motors and trains [he wrote] to say nothing 
of aeroplanes, this would be regarded as nothing. But in view 
of the fact that the traveller and his baggage are carried on men's 
backs, and that the full stage for a day's journey is thirty miles 
over miserable paths and lofty mountains, it will be seen that 
a very large proportion of one's time is spent in travelling. 

It is probable that his normal absence from home in 
this arduous service was seldom less than one hundred 
days per annum, and to those who know the hardships 
of the road and what Chinese inns are, the significance 
of this will be apparent. 

There is one feature of the correspondence through- 
out those years, 1914 to 1919^0 which reference must 


be made, for there is a marked distinction between what 
he then wrote and what had been written before. For 
reasons which we do not attempt to explain his letters 
became much less autobiographical. For instance, 
in The Bulletin there appeared from the beginning what 
was at first called the Bishop's page, and subsequently 
the Bishop's letter. From 1904, when The Bulletin 
was launched, up to 1914 these letters contained a large 
personal element, being the free communications of his 
heart to his friends at home, but from 1914 throughout 
the years of which we now write, this personal note 
almost entirely disappears. He speaks of the work, 
refers to the war and to his fellow- workers, but one 
misses something of the former buoyant note and 
personal detail, and in addition to these public letters 
we have read through approximately one hundred 
other communications written during this period, and 
generally speaking the same feature prevails. There 
is no weakening of effort, no slackening of resolution, 
nothing but a stedfast mood which only became more 
resolute as difficulties and trials increased. If he 
could not mount up with wings as an eagle, or 
run and not be weary, he still continued to walk 
and not faint. That he felt the burden it is evident, 
that he was at times over-wrought and suffered from 
physical depression is clear, but he could say with 
the Apostle Paul, " We are pressed on every side 
yet not straitened, perplexed yet not unto despair, 
pursued yet not forsaken ; smitten down yet not de- 
stroyed ; always bearing about in the body the dying 
of Jesus that the life also of Jesus may be manifested 
in our body." 

One goal he steadily kept before him, and that was 
to strengthen the hands of the Chinese leaders, and 
place larger responsibilities upon them. 


To me it seems clear [he wrote in 1918] that in view of the 
present world position the call to us is to do all that is possible 
to strengthen the hands and to promote the holiness of the 
Chinese leaders, while withdrawing ourselves as much as 
possible into less prominent posts. 

It is with this in view, and with the desire to make the best 
possible use of his particular gifts, that I have recently appointed 
the Rev. Ku Ho-lin, whose progress I have watched with the 
deepest interest for some thirty years, as the first Archdeacon 
in this diocese. . . . 

The appointment has been warmly welcomed. From the 
west of the diocese one of the senior clerical missionaries 
writes : " I am very glad that you have taken this step, and I 
am very glad that the first Archdeacon is Mr. Ku." And 
from the east another senior writes, " I am very glad to hear 
of Mr. Ku's new appointment and feel sure that he will prove 
himself worthy of it ". 

In November 1918, when the Bishop wrote to say 
how greatly they were rejoicing in the news of an 
armistice in Europe, and that hostilities had ceased, he 
also refers to some brighter aspects of the situation in 

Lawlessness, corruption and civil war still prevail in China 
[he wrote] and from a political point of view the outlook is 
darker than I have ever known it. ... But as I look round 
upon the work in the diocese I see a light shining in the dark- 
ness, and I discern many causes of deep thanksgiving. I may 
mention four of these. 

(1) Wide-open doors are standing before us, in almost every 
direction, and there is no lack of opportunities for telling out 
the Gospel message. . . . 

(2) Special efforts, such as evangelistic campaigns, revival 
meetings or Bible Schools are being attended by most useful 
and sometimes remarkable results. 

(3) The parochial vestries are being much better organised 
and are increasingly useful. 

(4) Most of the Chinese Pastors and preachers are becoming 
increasingly valuable, and are doing an excellent work. 

And so the Bishop held on, although outwardly 
there was little to inspire and much to dispirit. With 
a heart full of love to Christ and to his fellow-men 


Bishop Cassels continued in " work done squarely and 
unwasted days ". 

The late Archbishop Temple has told us that he 
had been struck with a review in a French magazine 
of the Duke of Wellington's dispatches, in which the 
writer said he had not been able to find the word 
" glory " once, but that the word which perpetually 
came up until he was weary of it was the word 
" duty ". It was in this spirit of " plain devotedness 
to duty " that the Bishop continued through those 
years marked by war at home and strife in China. 


Oft shall that flesh imperil and outweary 
Soul that would stay it in the straiter scope, 

Oft shall the chill day and the even dreary 
Force on my heart the frenzy of a Hope. 

F. W. H. MYERS. 

AFTER more than five years of strenuous work, years 
full of peculiar strain by reason of the war in Europe 
and the civil strife in China, it became clear to the 
Bishop that for a number of reasons he must again 
visit the home country, loath as he was to leave the 

When he had left England in 1913 he had expected, 
in response to the Archbishop's request, to return for 
the Lambeth Conference fixed for 1918, but owing to 
the war this Conference had been postponed until 1920. 
The time for that gathering was, therefore, now ap- 
proaching, and what made Bishop Cassels' presence of 
importance was the question of the future of the West 
China Diocese. It had become increasingly evident 
that it was beyond the power of any one Bishop to visit 
as frequently as seemed necessary the many stations of 
so vast a field. As a diocese it was in area about three 
times the size of England, and in population one of the 
densest in the world, while in travelling facilities there 
were few if any worse provided. 

It is five days' journey [wrote the Bishop in May 1919] 
from here (Paoning) to the first station to the West. Again, 
the journey from Wushan to Mowchow or to Lungan would take 

305 X 


a month's continuous travel. I have never yet been able to 
get to Taiping or Chenkow. Mowchow I have not visited for 
four years, nor Kwangyuan for over two years. . . . And yet 
there are few men in China who have spent more time in 
travelling than I have, e.g. in a period of eight years, between 
two of my furloughs, I spent over seven hundred days (the days 
of two whole years) on the road, apart from the time spent in 
other stations. 

It was no wonder that after thirty-four years in 
China he should begin to feel that some division of this 
labour was necessary. And he was further impressed 
with the need of developing the northern districts of 
both sides of the diocese. 

But there were other more personal and yet hardly 
less urgent reasons. He and Mrs. Cassels were realis- 
ing that " even missionary parents ", as he wrote, 
" have duties to their children which before God they 
may not neglect ". Apart from the claims of his 
daughters, his two sons were about to be demobilised, 
and he felt after all that the war had meant to them it 
was his duty, for a time at least, to be at home to give 
them counsel and guidance as to their future lives. 

Our children at home [he says] are writing to know if we 
will not retire from the work now so as to fulfil our duties towards 
them. But I have not yet felt called to do this, though the 
strain has been great of late. 

Added to all this his own and Mrs. Cassels' health 
demanded change. The depression which he had 
experienced before began again to creep over him, 
while there were other symptoms which he dared not 
ignore. Having, therefore, assuredly gathered from 
these combined circumstances that he ought to visit 
the home country once more, at the close of May 1919, 
after having appointed the Rev. C. H. Parsons, the 
senior clergyman in the diocese, to act in consultation 
with Archdeacon Ku as his commissary, he left for the 

This photograph was taken at Keswick about 1904. 

To face page 306. 


coast and travelled home via the Pacific and North 
America. Little did he or any other realise that this 
was to be his last visit to the old country. 

As Plymouth was reached early in September the 
parents were able to spend the few remaining days of 
the summer holidays with their children in Gloucester- 
shire, to the joy and delight of all. Then followed some 
sixteen months of varied engagements interspersed with 
short periods of refreshing rest 

I am just back from the Bible Society's meetings at Sheffield 
[he writes to Mr. Aldis], and have to start to-morrow for Exeter 
where I have to speak six times. 

This is but one glimpse of many of those days at 
home, but, of course, the Lambeth Conference was the 
outstanding engagement, and since no man can write 
about anything or any person without revealing himself, 
a few extracts from what the Bishop wrote about 
Lambeth may be quoted as being in part a mirror of 
his own heart. 

The depth of devotion [he wrote] that was evident in the 
" Quiet Days " that preceded the Conference and in the daily 
times of prayer that accompanied it gave one the assurance 
that the tone of procedure would be high. 

The spirit that pervaded the assembly when " The Appeal 
to all Christian People " was passed was remarkable. The 
Conference seemed moved by a powerful influence. The deep 
humility, the moist eyes, the trembling voices, the prayer before 
voting, and the doxology after were most impressive. 

The testimonies offered by several Bishops to personal 
healing, or to answered prayer for others, when the subject of 
Spiritual Healing was being discussed, revealed possibilities 
which have been embraced by too few among us. 

Undoubtedly, an outstanding feature of the Conference was 
the way in which the Archbishop presided. Where else could 
have been found such patience, endurance, sympathy, and such 
unrivalled knowledge of the names and dioceses of the two 
hundred and fifty-two Bishops present. When the discussion 
seemed hopelessly involved by the number of amendments put 


forward, he was able to unravel it. When most Bishops' 
patience was tried by a prolix or persistent speaker, he 
was still long-suffering. What should we have done without 

And the unbounded activity, the gracious and unsparing 
hospitality of Mrs. Davidson, the " Mother of the Lambeth 
Conference ", who has had some share in all the five gatherings, 
was no less striking. 

But happily this furlough was not all work, and we 
are indebted to the Bishop's brother, Mr. Francis 
Cassels, whose reminiscences of the early days have 
been quoted in the opening chapters, for some further 
memories of this and an earlier furlough, which we 
would not be without. These are best introduced 
here together. 

It is not easy to write about the visioning or sensing of 
conviction, such as William was encased in, as it seems to 
belong to the transcendental or mystical, to be above time and 
circumstances, and all symbolism, even that of language, and 
to have little or no part in any human organisation, however 
sacred its end may be. Perhaps the best way of putting it is 
to use a paradox, and say that William's earnestness and con- 
victions were impersonal. I think his letters to the Diocesan 
Bulletin evidence of this, for he used to speak in these of him- 
self only incidentally, and that almost as if he were referring to 
some one else, and seldom, unless in connection with the fears, 
desires and thoughts of others. 

The only occasion that I ever heard him speak in public was 
in 1912 at a meeting in Albert Hall ; there was a long string of 
speakers, and his address was short I have forgotten the 
subject-matter, if indeed I paid attention to it ; but there was 
the same feature first and foremost in evidence what might 
be called a nimbus or aura of earnestness and conviction, some- 
thing bigger than his personality, the same that surrounded him 
in boyhood, but developed and brighter than ever. 

While, on the one hand, I don't think that William had any 
self-awareness that he was Divinely gifted with this almost 
Pauline ardent earnestness, he was, on the other hand, like 
many great souls, sensitively conscious of what he thought 
was a peculiar weakness. In his youth, I remember on one 
occasion, with his invariable humility he referred to this as 


moroseness ; and once again, some fifty years later, in the late 
afternoon of his life, he mentioned this imaginary weakness. 
When strolling together along the Devonshire by-paths, we 
had been struck and pleased with the never-failing and hearty 
" Morning, Sir " (accompanied by a quick twist of the neck 
that was meant for a nod) with which the folks we met greeted 
us, and later on in the day he mentioned that he was conscious 
of a certain bashfulness or reserve, with which he always had 
to contend in rubbing shoulders with his fellow-men, which he 
contrasted with the spontaneous and naive salutations he had 
noticed coming from the Devonshire farmers and labourers. 

Speaking for myself, and as having little knowledge of his 
life as a missionary, I would say that I believe that he would 
have done anything to escape the limelight, when he could 
have done so ; and that if there was anything that could have 
been put down as a want of expansiveness, unsympathetic 
reserve or brusqueness, it was only a little backwater at the 
edge of the great current that was carrying him with it. We 
were mutually inclined on this occasion to make fraternal 
confession, so what he said in this regard may never have 
called the attention of those bound together with him in the 
great work ; but it is mentioned for the sake of any not so 
intimately connected with him who may have noticed in him 
an attitude of apparent standofHshness or coldness. . . . 

At the opening of the " eighties " our respective outlook 
on life and the absorbing interests of each of us more and more 
limited our companionship. I had visited him several times 
when he was at St. John's, Cambridge, and after that we used 
to meet at our Mother's house, but I never visited him at South 
Lambeth where he held his curacy. 

Within a year or two the barrier of geographical distance 
arose between us, my affairs taking me to Buenos Aires, the 
most progressive city in the world, with its hurried keenness 
to adopt every improvement that modern civilisation could 
suggest, while an imperative call took him to the land of 

It was thirty years before we met again. We had heard 
indirectly about each other, but perhaps not half a dozen letters 
had passed between us. I met him on his arrival from China 
at Victoria Station in 1912, but only saw him and his good wife 
at brief times, and with others during their stay in England, 
although we remember with pleasure that he baptized our 
youngest boy. I tried to get him once or twice to join me at 
golf, hoping that he would be " bitten " and so make his stay 
something of a holiday ; but his thoughts were in his work, 


and expecting calls to be made upon him in this regard, he 
gratefully refused my well-intentioned suggestion. 

But it was in 1920, when he was at home for the last time 
and spent a few days twice with me in my place in Devonshire, 
that we mutually found our long-lost brotherhood. And it 
was, I am sure, a time of relaxation and rest to him ; at least, 
I remember him saying, when I awoke him early the first 
morning with a cup of tea, reminiscent of doing so to come for a 
swim half a century before, " Thank Heaven, I have no sermon 
or meeting to-day ". And then, " Have you any old clothes, 
my boy ? If so, please bring me the oldest ". 

And so, in a pair of grey flannel trousers, and a well-seasoned 
golf coat but I could not find a head-gear to fit him, so he 
had to retain his ecclesiastical broad-brimmed shovel-hat we 
wandered together, hour after hour, over the country-side, now 
recalling our childhood, our schooldays, the doings of the 
members of our family, and exchanging views of things dear 
to both ; now just in silent companionship, and our silence 
was deepened and solemnised for two minutes as we stood at 
a gate with the wide Exe Valley before us, and heard the 
Armistice Day eleven o'clock signals. But it was not a day of 
idleness for him, for every post brought a budget of letters to 
be attended to. I gathered, that, as the importance of his 
work extended, his having more and more sedentary desk work 
to which he was not brought up was more and more irksome 
to him, for constitutionally he loved physical activity. 

In the evening by the fireside one of my boys, the only 
member of my family at home, and I persuaded him to tell us 
something of the adventurous side of his life, his shipwrecks, 
his long journeyings, his meeting with the brigands, and so on, 
which, indeed, he did, but always in his accustomed way, 
never introducing his own emotions. But I am forgetting that 
there was one thing he spoke of with very great personal horror, 
which was the vermin pest that he experienced, sometimes 
night after night for weeks on end during his first years in 
China. In the fighting of beasts at Ephesus, after the manner 
of men, there was at least a good sporting chance of escaping 
serious damage, and popular applause, such as it was worth, 
would have rewarded any courage or skill shown ; but what a 
man like William must have suffered on this account must have 
been a constant and veritable martyrdom. He also interested 
us by telling us of the difficulties of adapting Christian truths 
to the language and psychology of the Chinese. 

When I referred to the results of his work, there was a 
diffidence amounting to a gentle refusal to answer ; and he 


avoided giving me the slightest encouragement when I tried 
to lead him to enlighten me on a point that had often puzzled 
me, as it must have done other outsiders, or semi-outsiders 
practical enough question, viz. how it was that he was associated 
with two Societies having such distinct views as the China 
Inland Mission and the Church Missionary Society. . . . 

Had he not refrained, as he always did, with so much careful 
delicacy in talking with me, in anything like a pulpit utterance, 
he might well have quoted, as reflecting his thoughts, his pre- 
decessor in the Mission-field " It is God that giveth the 
increase " ; and again, " Who is Paul, and who is Apollos ? " 
For with his whole entity and with every aspect of his entity 
there was always what was uppermost and foremost in his mind 
China's millions in relation to which he was as nothing. 

And if in his forgetfulness of his selfhood he ever had a 
passing thought as to the expressions of sentiments of those 
he might leave behind him in his regard, I think he would have 
hoped that these should be not the words that so spontaneously 
rise to our lips, " Well done, good and faithful servant," but 
" Neither is he that planteth anything, neither is he that 
watereth ". 

His last words to me were a cheerful, " Old man, I shall 
never see you again on earth ; there is plenty of room for me in 
my Paoning churchyard ". 

And those last words to his brother were prophetic. 
He was leaving England for the last time, and his friends 
at home were, on earth, to see his face no more. After 
another five more strenuous years he was to consecrate 
that God's Acre at Paoning in a fuller way than any 
words of his had already dedicated it. 

But long ere he set sail he was like a hound straining 
at its leash in his eagerness to get back. The staff on 
the field was abnormally small in consequence of many 
having to take furlough now that the release of shipping 
after the war had made possible what had been denied 
for several years. And thus through lack of workers 
the Diocesan Theological College, as well as the 
Paoning Girls' School, were closed, and there was not 
a single medical man in any of the stations. The 
political conditions, too, were beyond description, 


lawlessness was on every hand, and the military like 
locusts were eating up the country . Some of the homes 
of the Chinese Pastors had been looted, and one had 
been taken captive. 

Had it not been that the General Synod of the 
Chinese Church was to be held in Hankow in April 
1921, he would have returned earlier than he did, but 
it seemed a useless waste of time and money to take 
the long journey up country only to have to return to 
the coast shortly afterwards. 

I am torn asunder [he writes] as to cutting the General 
Synod and going back at once, or else remaining longer in 
England and only going back to the West after the Synod. 

The latter course he adopted, and in his last public 
letter before he sailed he wrote : 

I come to you once again at what is one of the darkest hours 
that I have had to face, to plead once again and more earnestly 
than ever before for the continuance, the increase, the reduplica- 
tion of your earnest intercessions, buoyed up by the assurance 
that " the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth 
much ". 

For what is the situation ? 

It is not only that the horrors of civil war have been again 
let loose over the diocese and have been raging furiously for 
many months. 

It is not only that the terrors of brigandage have vastly 
increased, and that the news of Christians being carried off and 
missionaries being in danger is becoming common. 

Nor is it only that an awful pestilence of cholera has spread 
far and wide over the Province carrying off thousands and 
invading the homes of our own people. . . . 

But the greatest blow of all is that for one reason or other 
the staff of workers is getting smaller as one worker after another, 
for reasons which no doubt seem adequate and weighty, is 
unable to return to the field. 

The consequence is that hospitals are shut, the Theological 
College is shut, several schools are shut, and quite a number of 
stations are without a missionary, while others are being held 
by a single missionary who ought not to be left alone. 


He was rightly jealous for the diocese with its vast 
and immeasurable needs, and the loss of each worker 
was to him a painful experience. 

It is a terrible blow [he wrote to the Rev. W. H. Aldis 
when his return seemed improbable], not to me only, but to 
the work on the field. 

Mr. Aldis had, as Assistant Superintendent, relieved 
him of many Mission details in connection with the 
C.I.M. side of the work, and his non-return meant 
that all the duties of a Superintendent fell again upon 
the Bishop. Yet there were many encouragements. 
At the C.I.M. Summer School at Swanwick he had 
met the Rev. Frank Houghton, B.A., Curate of Christ 
Church, Preston, and others who were expecting to go 
out to the diocese as reinforcements, and here it may 
be mentioned that Mr. Houghton some two or three 
years later married the Bishop's daughter Dorothy, who 
had herself joined the Mission in the autumn of 1918. 

And there was another worker with whom he had 
been in correspondence, namely, Dr. M. R. Lawrence, 
brother of Colonel Lawrence of Arabian fame, who, 
ere long, joined the C.I.M. and went out to take 
charge of the Paoning Hospital which had been closed. 

But burdened as he was with the need of an Assistant 
Bishop in his vast diocese, what perhaps of all human 
happenings comforted him most was the practical 
sympathy and support given him in this matter by 
His Grace, the Archbishop of Canterbury, from whom 
he received the following letter which was read at his 
farewell meeting. 

jth February 1921. 

DEAR BISHOP CASSELS On the eve of your return to your 
wonderful Mission Field, you are endeavouring to arrange for 
the necessary funds in support of an Assistant Bishop who shall 


relieve you of the care of some part of your overwhelming 

I have always regarded your Mission Field as one of the 
most interesting and important which is to be found in any 
part of the world, and your personal devotion during these many 
years has been a stimulus and an example to us all. 

I pray God to aid you in the endeavour you are now making, 
in circumstances of quite peculiar difficulty, to raise the money 
required. May God prosper and guide your effort. I am, 
Yours very truly, RANDALL CANTUAR. 

And for the development of the work of the diocese, 
and to assist in providing for the support of an Assistant 
Bishop, a West China Diocesan Association was formed 
on the eve of his departure. Concerning this he wrote 
during his voyage out : 

I have already been much cheered by the promises of help. 
. . . And need I urge you to pray that the right man may be 
given me for this important post. . . . May He Who ascended 
up on high to give gifts to His Church send to us in His own 
time a man of His own choice for this work. 

Of the voyage and the General Synod we must not 
write. As soon as these were over the Bishop with his 
wife and daughter Dorothy set forth for the West once 
more, though the province was in a sad state of lawless- 
ness. In addition to the civil war and brigandage a 
new terror had appeared through the uprising of 
fanatical hordes who called themselves Sheng Ping or 
Divine soldiers, men who after mysterious incantations 
over a bowl of water were said to be frenzied and 
invulnerable for a number of hours. In the Wanhsien 
district alone six or eight Christians had suffered death 
at their hands. 

The journey through the gorges had been taken by 
the Bishop some twenty or thirty times in Chinese boats 
and twice before in steamers, or rather he had started 
by steamer but never arrived. On this occasion, how- 
ever, he and those who were with him got safely through 


but not without excitement and considerable difficulty. 
The city of Kweifu was reached long after dark, but 
as Mr. Hannah had made arrangements whereby the 
city gates were kept open the Bishop was able to hold 
a Confirmation service towards midnight during the 
steamer's brief delay. Wanhsien, Tachu, Chuhsien, 
Yingshan, and Nanpu were visited en route for Paoning, 
which city, though it rained nearly all the way, was 
reached on June 13, when the people surpassed them- 
selves in the welcome they gave him. Many came out 
ten miles to meet him, others were waiting at the river- 
side, and to the accompaniment of a Chinese band and 
innumerable crackers the little cavalcade reached home 
to find it decorated with an ornamental arch and canvas- 
covered approach. 

It was a welcome more befitting than the Paoning 
people knew, for this was the last welcome they were 
to give him. And it was a beautiful and noteworthy 
fact that the rain which had been incessant by the way 
now ceased and the sun shone forth for the first time 
since they landed. The Bishop who noticed these 
things, and had been inspirited when he first entered 
the province by a burst of sunshine thirty-five years 
before was filled with hope as he again faced his great 


The great end of the art is to strike the imagination. . . . Even 
in portraits, the grace and we may add the likeness, consists more in 
taking the general air, than in observing the exact similitude of every 
feature. . . The general idea constitutes real excellence. 


VERY soon after the Bishop's arrival it was laid upon 
his heart to gather together the Chinese clergy for a 
few quiet days. He was oppressed with the vastness 
of the diocese and with the impossibility of giving it 
adequate episcopal supervision. There were candi- 
dates waiting for Confirmation at places, six, eight, ten, 
and twelve days' journey away in various and opposite 
directions. There was also the corresponding difficulty 
in gathering the missionaries together from their remote 
stations, and although the same difficulty obtained in a 
less degree in regard to the Chinese clergy, he sent out 
invitations to the Chinese pastors and to the more 
accessible catechists to come to Paoning for a season of 
quiet waiting upon God. 

At this time Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor who were 
visiting Szechwan, came and spent ten days with the 
Bishop in Paoning. Dr. Taylor was, therefore, able 
to speak on several occasions to the clergy during those 
quiet days, and Mrs. Howard Taylor, with the eye of 
the artist, took in details of that busy compound, and 
with her graphic pen depicted what she saw. That 
picture is too good to be buried or lost in a now 
out-of-print copy of The Bulletin, and, as a sketch of 



Paoning, the Cathedral city of West China, of the 
Mission compound, and of some of the personnel, the 
greater part is reproduced here. 

We have just been spending ten days in Paoning with 
Bishop and Mrs. Cassels, and I want to share with you some 
impressions that call for thankfulness and continued prayer. . . 

Our first sight of Paoning was from the hills, as we came 
down from the little Sanatorium of Sintientsi, where we are 
privileged to be spending the summer. It is a beautiful 
journey of forty-four miles, usually accomplished in one 
day, but caught in a sudden storm with a deluge of rain we 
had to spend a night at a wayside inn, for which we were 
unprepared. . . . 

Paoning was a great surprise. It was so different from 
anything we had anticipated. Imagine a quiet cathedral 
town in England, in a sort of Chinese dress, and you have 
something like the pleasant, semi-countrified surroundings of 
the Mission buildings. For the Cathedral, hospital, schools 
and mission houses stand in the less busy part of a suburb out- 
side the city itself and back from the river. . . . 

Coming from Sintientsi the approach to Paoning is beautiful 
a deep, tree-clad ravine in which the stream is a torrent after 
rains, dashing over its stony bed. The path drops into steps 
as one goes down, long flights of stone steps, in some places 
cut into the rock itself. On either side are fine boulders and 
walls of rock over which the streams from above fall in silver 
ribbons among the trees. And there in front, far below, lies 
the city amid its greenery, rising on a long promontory from 
the river which encompasses it on three sides. All around it 
are hills, high hills, some crowned with temples and pagodas, 
running back into mountainous country on every side. 

But it is not the place so much as the progress of the work 
in which you will be interested. We came down for a Retreat, 
a few Quiet Days for the Chinese clergy of the diocese, most 
of whom the Bishop had not seen since his return. You will 
well understand with what interest we looked forward to 
meeting these pastors, the first fully ordained clergymen of the 
Anglican Church in Western China, and the first we have 
personally met in our travels. There is, as might be expected, 
a stateliness and dignity about the work that centres round the 
Bishop's home, though without anything approaching display. 
Opening out of his study, for example, by a little passage, is a 
private chapel, a small and simply-appointed sanctuary, but 
beautiful with its Communion Table and rail, its subdued light 


and pews arranged for convenience in kneeling. It was in 
this place of prayer that the daily meetings were held. It just 
accommodated the guests, twenty in all, who had been invited 
for the Retreat, seven of whom were clergy and the rest 
catechists from the out-stations. 

Though small, it must have been a moving audience for 
the Bishop that first morning. After an absence of two years 
he had just come back into their midst, and his heart went out 
in the address of welcome in a special way. Most of these men 
he had baptized in earlier years. All of them he had confirmed 
and appointed to their work. Seven had received ordination 
at his hands, and were bearing with him the burden and heat 
of the day. They were certainly in the truest sense " Dearly 
beloved Brethren", as he reminded them, bound to him by 
many ties. . . . 

From the quiet of the little chapel in which most of Saturday 
was spent, it was no small change to pass to the public services 
of the Cathedral on the following day. If only you could have 
come with us among the bright-faced men and women who 
thronged the entrance to the great building, could have passed 
into those spacious aisles, looking up as we did to the vast 
roof, the transepts, the beautiful chancel and the many windows 
through which streamed the summer light, you would under- 
stand better than words can tell of the spirit that the place 
evokes, so thoroughly in keeping with the simple impressive 
service. From the moment that the Bishop entered, preceded 
by the Archdeacon and eight other Chinese and foreign clergy- 
men all robed alike, to the close of the Communion service in 
which a hundred and twenty participated, all was reverent and 
worshipful. It was worth coming far to see the large congrega- 
tion filling the main part of the Cathedral and to hear the 
responses in which everybody present seemed to join, and the 
really excellent singing. But what most of all moved my heart 
was the way in which the service seemed to adapt itself to the 
needs of the people ; to see the Chinese clergy so naturally 
taking a leading part, and to find among the communicants 
not only well-dressed educated men and women, but simple 
country people with toil-worn hands and faces. One dear old 
soul of over eighty had walked miles to be present, and went 
to the Communion rail leaning on her long staff with its 
quaintly carved head-piece, side by side with the young school- 
teacher in modernised dress and foreign spectacles. And 
among the men in silken gowns I caught sight of a dear old 
farmer wearing sandals. 

A typical modern man of the best sort was the preacher at 


the afternoon service, who not so long ago was a little lad here 
in the Cathedral school. He has recently returned from America 
where he graduated from Yale University, and studied theology 
at Princeton. He has just been appointed to an important 
post in the Y.M.C.A. to forward educational schemes through- 
out the country. . . . 

I do want now, and it is the chief object of this letter, to 
plead for a renewal of all this living interest on behalf especially 
of the Chinese clergy of the diocese and their most important 
work. If time permitted I should like to write of the schools, 
the hospital, and the Bible Training Institute, of work among 
the women and of the far-extending out-stations. I should 
love to tell you, too, of the privilege we had when Mrs. Cassels 
took us round the old original premises, and told us about the 
early days when she first came there as a bride ; of the crowds 
of visitors, the daily preaching from morning to night, the 
mistrust and opposition their early efforts encountered, and 
the trial to health and spirits of living in the little, low, damp 
rooms which were all they could obtain. Even improved as 
they are now with ceilings and boarded floors, it was hard to 
believe that for years they had been the Bishop's home, shared 
by another family as well, not to speak of the young men (un- 
married missionaries) who lived across the courtyard and came 
in for meals. The tiny sitting-room, the only parlour Mrs. 
Cassels had, was barely twelve feet square, and her bedroom 
opening out of it was no larger. But their joy in the work was 
so great that they made little of hardships. . . . 

Then there was the Mohammedan family in part of whose 
house the missionaries were living, and who continued to 
occupy another part of the same courtyard. We saw the rooms, 
next the guest hall, and heard from Mrs. Cassels about the 
little lad, the only son of the family, who used to run in and out 
with her own children, and attended the Mission school, when 
they were able to open one. Who would have thought, in 
those days, of the future God had in store for that Mohammedan 
boy ? Gradually, very gradually, brought into the light, he 
has gone on steadily growing in grace and usefulness. Baptized 
among the first believers, he came to know the Lord in a 
deeper way through a very serious illness when he was barely 
twenty. . . . 

He was in business then, selling the rich silks and satins for 
which the province is famous, but step by step he was led to give 
himself entirely to the Lord's work, until in the terrible Boxer 
year he was one of the leaders who kept the church together 
when the missionaries all had to leave for the coast. Amid the 


dangers and sufferings of that time, he had to face as never before 
what it really meant to serve and follow Jesus Christ. . . . 

He is now the Archdeacon of this great diocese to-day, and 
is exercising a spiritual ministry the value of which cannot be 
told. Few hours that I have spent in China, or anywhere, 
indeed, stand out for me as the hour in his home, when he 
brought a little notebook and with his sweet young daughter 
beside him told us something of what the Cross of Christ has 
come to mean in his life and work. . . . 

Turning the pages of his note-book he showed me address 
after address worked out with diagrams on the subject of the 
Cross. I had been reading that morning with thankfulness 
The Cross in Christian Experience (W. M. Clow, D.D.) and 
could not but feel that here was a Chinese view of the same 
great theme equally tender and inspiring. . . . 

And among the others, though the Archdeacon is certainly 
ahead in spiritual things, there are men whom God has greatly 
used. Asking one of them as to how many of his family are 
now Christians, we were surprised at his answer. It lies before 
me now, for he afterwards gave us the facts in writing. 

" Sixty descendants of my father ", he states, after giving 
details, " are now believers in the Lord, two of whom are fully 
ordained Pastors and two Catechists ". 

Will you not pray and seek more prayer at home for this 
million-peopled diocese, that all the blessings given in the 
past may be continued, and crowned by a new and deeper 
working of the Spirit of God among the churches ? The 
Bishop longs for this ; the missionaries long for this ; the 
Chinese pastors long for this feeling their need and the great- 
ness of the opportunities. 

On his way up from the coast a few weeks ago, the Bishop 
confirmed over two hundred baptized believers, and there are 
still more than a thousand throughout the diocese waiting for 
confirmation. Think what it means to shepherd all these 
souls, and to follow up the openings made into new homes and 
neighbourhoods. There are besides, as you know, some three 
thousand six hundred communicants throughout the diocese, 
but what are they among twenty to thirty millions of people ? 
And in this vast district, it should be remembered there are 
no other missionaries save those working under the Bishop's 
supervision C.M.S. and C.I.M. We are responsible for 
those souls. . . . 


Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward 
to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal. 


WE have now reached the last four years of the Bishop's 
life, and instead of his path being easier it became more 
arduous and exacting. As in a race the pace quickens 
as the goal is approached, so it was now. The contest 
became more fierce, the adversaries more persistent, 
and the difficulties more formidable. But the Bishop 
was undaunted, and the spirit in which he faced life's 
perplexities is well illustrated by the following notable 
words from one of his letters : 

Let not these difficulties [he wrote] discourage you. . . . 
The word is not found in the Bible, or if it is, it is relegated to 
the margin and to a secondary position there. Zech. viii. 6. To 
God's people difficulties are to be stepping-stones on which 
they can climb to greater things. 

Externally, there was in China a growing tide of 
nationalism, the spread of brigandage, and intensified 
civil war. On all hands soldiers were being billeted 
upon the people and the spirit of dissatisfaction was, by 
political agitators, slowly turned against the foreigner. 
The prestige of foreign nations was rapidly declining, 
and the Bishop regarded the firing upon steamers on 
the Yangtze as a serious index of the Chinese anti- 
foreign spirit. And the fact that the foreign steamers 
replied with quick-firing and other guns, he felt, could 
only create a tense situation between the nations. 

321 Y 


It is undoubtedly true [he wrote] that the lives of foreigners 
in general, which in the far interior means missionaries in 
particular, are held in far less esteem than they have been for 
the last twenty odd years. . . . 

Further, whereas during this period the Church had, to 
some extent, been a haven of refuge for the distressed, this 
has now ceased to be, and the Christians are obliged to face 
the same perils as their neighbours, in addition to the special 
trials or persecutions which come upon them as those who have 
turned their backs on the world. The test is severe, but by 
the grace of God it will be healthful. 

The army was ever growing larger and larger, and 
the people being crushed under the burden of taxation. 
The military authorities were demanding enormous 
sums of money on all hands, and insisting on the 
Commercial Guilds or district leaders collecting the 
amount under threats of imprisonment or even death. 

There were other ominous signs, among which was 
the rising of a certain man named T'ang, who was 
issuing tracts predicting unprecedented calamities, and 
thereby terrorising the people. Some of his pre- 
dictions seemed almost based on Scripture, and referred 
to earthquakes in divers places, etc. Considerable 
alarm was created by these forecasts. " For ourselves ", 
wrote the Bishop, " we look for His glorious appearing." 

The only possible way to enable the reader to 
appreciate the atmosphere of lawlessness and peril in 
which the Bishop and his fellow-workers laboured is 
by a brief series of extracts from letters giving graphic 
pictures of varied occasions. 

Writing on November 22, 1923, he says : 

Just now the city is in a state of panic owing to an attack 
by the troops of the first division. Firing has been going on 
from across the river all day. I do not know how letters will 
get through. 

Six days later he wrote again : 


Paoning is in rather a bad state just now. All shops are 
shut and the streets are largely deserted, the majority of people 
remaining crouched in their houses for fear of the bullets and 
shells which are being fired into the city. As to shells, I am 
thankful to say that the enemy seem to have but a small quantity, 
for those which have exploded in the city have done a good deal 
of havoc. One embedded itself the other day in the wall of the 
Cathedral grounds but did not explode. The casualties are 
comparatively few, but we hear every day of people being killed 
on the streets. 

On December 3 he wrote again : 

Here the bombarding has continued, and one or two nights 
recently it has been very severe, particularly last night ; and 
early this morning there was a constant fusillade, and it seems 
that the First Army crossed the river opposite the West gate 
and up at Hsia-keo-ts'i, ten li up stream. There has been a 
great scare ever since, and continuous fighting, and we hardly 
know what has happened. Bullets have been falling freely, 
particularly round the Fuh-ing-t' 'ang (Mission compound) and 
Mr. Bruce 's house. No one dares to go on the street, but I got 
across to Mr. Bruce 's house and found all well there. Casualties, 
fatal or otherwise, are reported every day, but we have been 
wonderfully spared, thank God, and no harm has happened to 
any of us. 

After being bombarded for twelve days the city fell, 
and the invaders proved themselves unpleasant visitors, 
searching the Mission house for supposed enemy 
officers, and asserting that the Colonel of the opposing 
force was being afforded refuge. One of the Bishop's 
daughters, Miss Grace Cassels, writing of those days, 
said : 

I asked myself what was the chief feature of our ordeal, and 
wherein did the strain differ from that which many of our 
friends have passed through in other places ? The answer is 
bound up with the fact that this is the only station in the diocese 
that boasts five English children. They are all under eight 
years of age, and as they run in and out of our different houses 
with pattering feet and merry voices, all who love children will 
understand how they bring joy with them and leave gladness 
behind, and are a gift of God to us all. 


The unexpected sound of rifle firing down by the river 
brought my Chinese lesson to a hurried end, on the morning 
of November 22nd, for my teacher was eager to be off to find 
out the cause. I collected my books, and was crossing the 
courtyard when I met my sister, Mrs. Bruce, white and 
breathless. She was rushing down to the river to help bring 
home the children who had gone together for a walk in that 
direction. . . . 

The procession of flying figures (consisting of the parents, 
an aunt, a grandparent, and a string of servants !) hurrying down 
the lanes to the river did not stop to conjecture how the enemy 
had arrived ; their one thought was to retrieve the children. . . . 

As we returned from this expedition the main roads were 
almost impassable, for the troops were pouring out of every 
temple, accompanied by mules and horses, loaded with all the 
paraphernalia of the camp. . . . 

Shells were dropping on all sides of them. An unexploded 
shell was found in the Cathedral grounds between the two 
houses where the children constantly play together. It was 
suggested that the little ones should go over to the Bishop's 
and the doctor's houses to sleep, as these seemed out of the 
line of fire. 

Anxious days followed, some of the children happily 
not realising the danger. On one occasion three of 
them just over five years of age were found walking 
along the top of the wall, to which they had climbed by 
means of a tree. " We got where the bullets could 
reach us ", said Mary proudly, and they repeated this 
feat next day in their own garden ! 

This siege of twelve days was succeeded by another 
lasting twice as long, until fuel and food became scarce. 

Naturally the Bishop's anxieties were not limited to 
what happened in and around his own home. Tidings 
were continually reaching him of trouble elsewhere, 
and he felt an almost fatherly responsibility, especially 
for the ladies residing in exposed places. 

Six months before the bombardment of Paoning 
referred to above, Chiihsien was besieged and attacked, 
and in January 1924, he wrote to Shanghai telling of 



O A 
K j= 
en .ti 





the hurried visit he had paid to that city, to be with 
the ladies in their time of trial. 

I was in the Shunking and Yochih district [he writes] when 
the letters telling what had happened reached Paoning. But 
my wife sent me a special messenger, and so as soon as I got 
the news I went at once to Chiihsien. . . . 

The ladies had really a most trying time. They were held 
and searched, and rings and watches and eye-glasses taken off 
their persons. Again and again shots were fired in their direc- 
tion which narrowly missed them. (Next door and in other 
houses people were killed and wounded.) Bayonets were 
pointed at them, and their dresses progged, and they were 
threatened with death unless they produced silver and more 

The pastor, too, in the other house lost nearly everything, 
and though a bullet missed him he was badly wounded in the 
head by a bayonet and a blow from the butt end of a rifle. . . . 

Now I am on my way back to Paoning, hoping to be able 
to get there, but I have to pass through several opposing bands 
or troops. 

Despite these conditions it was under the rarest 
circumstances that the Bishop desisted from visiting the 
stations of his diocese. The perils of the road were 
not to him a sufficient deterrent, nor were the dilapi- 
dated and sometimes almost deserted inns, where food 
was now difficult to obtain. 

It was amid conditions such as these that Bishop 
Cassels welcomed Bishop Howard Mowll, the new 
Assistant-Bishop, into the province. 

He had for long felt the strain was beyond his power 
to bear alone, and had even written referring to the 
possibility of his being suddenly taken away. As early 
as 1915 he had urged the Archbishop of Canterbury to 
divide the diocese, and though the Archbishop had 
preferred to appoint an Assistant-Bishop and retain 
the diocese as one, Bishop Cassels welcomed the relief 
this afforded. 

Bishop Howard W. K. Mowll, formerly of Cam- 


bridge and subsequently Dean of Wycliffe College, 
Toronto, was consecrated at Westminster Abbey on 
St. John the Baptist's Day, June 24, 1922, though he 
did not enter upon his duties in Szechwan until nearly 
a year later, when Bishop Cassels personally introduced 
him to the workers in the various stations in the west 
of the diocese. Glad as Bishop Cassels was of the 
relief thus afforded, he not unnaturally felt the slacken- 
ing of the bond between himself and his fellow- workers 
in the west. In connection with this he had previously 
written in a circular letter to the missionaries in the 
west half of the diocese : 

The prospect of in any degree breaking my more direct 
connection with the Western side of the diocese is one that I 
cannot contemplate without very much sorrow. . . . 

I well remember my first visit to that region just thirty- 
five years ago . . . and I have still clearer recollections of my 
first episcopal visit to the newly opened C.M.S. stations in 
April 1896. . . . 

The twenty-six years that have passed away since then are 
full of happy memories and very much loyalty and kindness 
shown to me. Would that they had been better and more 
effectually used for the glory of God ! 

But Bishop Mowll had barely entered upon his new 
responsibilities ere the terrible tragedy of August 14, 
1923, took place, when the Rev. F. J. Watt and Rev. 
R. A. Whiteside were murdered by a band of brigands 
among the mountains between Mienchuhsien and 
Mowchow. This was a staggering blow for all, and one 
that Bishop Cassels felt deeply. 

I was dumb [he wrote], and opened not my mouth for it 
was Thy doing. 

The funeral of Mr. Watt and Mr. Whiteside [wrote the 
Bishop] was a very impressive and solemn affair, and their loss 
is very keenly felt. 

While deeply pained by the loss of these and other 
missionaries, he was greatly exercised about his Chinese 


fellow- workers. In one way or another some of them 
were being adversely affected by the difficult days in 
which they lived, and by the growing anti-foreign spirit. 
He felt that a great deal was being expected from them, 
and that their failures were being more criticised than 
before. He desired to see constantly a higher standard 
attained, and fuller and deeper spiritual power mani- 
fest, and he continually asked prayer that they might 
be preserved amid the political unrest which was 
affecting the Church. 

I have recently [he wrote] had to give a great deal of time to 
going carefully into the cases of all the candidates for Holy 
Orders, and this matter has had far more attention than ever in 
the past, and I have been much more careful than ever before. 

When one of his Chinese clergy did go back he was 
pained beyond words. 

This is the first time [he wrote] that one of my clergy 
[Chinese] has renounced his Orders, and it is a most heart- 
breaking thing to me that so far I have not been able to save 
him. And I fear that Holy Orders will now assume a different 
position in the diocese. 

The standard he had sought to maintain, not only 
for foreign workers, but for Chinese ordinands, is 
revealed by the following quotation from one of his 
letters referring to the Chinese pastor mentioned above : 

Bishop Lightfoot, in his addresses to Candidates for Holy 
Orders, constantly spoke of them taking an irrevocable step, 
closing the door on the past, and crossing a stream which they 
could never recross ; e.g. I write one out of many such passages : 

" To-morrow will close for you the door on the past. It will 
not be with you as with other men. If they make an unfor- 
tunate choice in their profession, they have power to retrieve 
it. If they find that they have mistaken their abilities, or that 
their heart is not in their work, or that they can better them- 
selves by looking elsewhere, or that they have little success in 
their business, it is still open to them to repair the false step. 


It cannot be so unto you. When you have put your hand to 
the plough, you may not look back not even for a moment, 
not even in imagination. . . . You cannot undo what you have 
done. . . . The step is irretrievable, is absolute, is final. You 
devote yourselves to a lifelong work. Failure, vexation, dis- 
appointment, opposition, all these things you must be prepared 
to face." 

It is a remarkable fact that Bishop Cassels, who 
placed such great weight on the development of the 
Chinese ministry, did not attend the great National 
Christian Conference held in Shanghai in the early 
summer of 1922, when it may be said that the Chinese 
Church publicly entered into her rightful heritage, for 
this was the first occasion when the Chinese had an 
equal representation with missionaries, and when the 
chairman was a Chinese pastor. 

There were several reasons for the Bishop not being 
present. There was the pressure of work locally, 
which at that time he felt intensely, and the disturbed 
conditions which made his presence seem desirable. 
For the same reasons he did not feel free to attend the 
Anglican Synod held at Canton in 1924. There was 
also the question of expense which somewhat burdened 
him, for at that time the exchange was almost over- 
whelmingly adverse, and the financial situation was 
difficult. There was another reason, however. He 
was a man of peace who desired to avoid any possible 
strife of tongues, preferring rather to engage in con- 
structive work. 

Nor am I anxious [he writes] to get into the Modernist 
controversy, which, letters from home say, is likely to arise at 
the time of the General Conference. It seems to me that I 
can much better occupy my time by sticking to my work. 
There is so much to be done, and I am asking God to make me 
a blessing in the work here. 

It is appropriate that some fuller reference should 
be made here to his attitude towards controversy 


generally, and towards one practical question at least 
which arose therefrom. Though he personally sought 
to avoid strife, it was not that he was indifferent to the 
issues involved, or lacking in strong convictions. 

I have no taste for controversy [he wrote] and my tendency 
is to let things go rather than stir up a lot of dust, but when the 
voice of Truth appeals loudly to my conscience I must not fear 
the stirring up of dust. 

On another occasion he wrote : 

As to the " Bible Union," I myself have not joined it, 
though I do see their Bulletin. I have taken no part in the con- 
troversy re the B.C.M.S. [The Bible Churchmen's Missionary 
Society], that is not my line. But I do feel that if the Modernist 
position is to be accepted the ground is all knocked away from 
under my feet, and I have nothing to stand upon. 

Again he writes : 

Do you ever see The Bulletin of the Bible Union for China ? 
The way in which modern views of the Bible are creeping into 
China is terrible. To me if our Lord is wrong as to His view 
of the Old Testament, I cannot be sure that He is not wrong 
in all His statements as to my redemption and the future life. 

Personally I have become increasingly conservative in my 
views as the result of recent study of several books. 

As one half of his diocese was manned by C.M.S. 
workers he could not but be deeply concerned in the 
controversy raging at home within the ranks of that 
Society on doctrinal questions, and he was in full 
sympathy with a resolution passed by the C.M.S. 
workers in West China declaring their belief in the 
whole Bible. It was, however, a cause of real grief to 
him that a division should take place in the parent 
Society at Salisbury Square, and that another organisa- 
tion, the Bible Churchmen's Missionary Society, should 
be formed. At the same time, though he had abstained 
from participation in this controversy, he was glad to 
welcome to the field workers of the B.C.M.S. when 


they approached him, as he had welcomed Mr. Hors- 
burgh and his party many years before. This was 
made more easy by the approval of Mr. Hoste, General 
Director of the C.I.M., that a portion of the C.I.M. 
field within the diocese should be placed at their 

With regard to the B.C.M.S. coming into the diocese [he 
wrote], I must say I am most thankful to think that there is 
some prospect of them taking up the work in the Kwangan, 
Yochih and Linshui region, which is now left without any 

And in his letter to the Rev. D. H. C. Bartlett, 
Secretary of the B.C.M.S., he wrote : 

I need hardly say how gladly I will welcome any further 
help in the evangelisation of this immense diocese, nor need 
I add that there is scope for a great many more workers of the 
right sort. . . . 

But there are one or two things that perhaps I may say at 

(1) So far we have not heard that the C.M.S. expects to 

retire from any part of the field which it occupies at 
present in this diocese. . . . 

(2) It might be possible to arrange for you to take over one 

of the more remote districts on the North-East or 
South-East of this diocese for which our present 
staff of C.I.M. workers is insufficient. 

Reserving all his strength for aggressive and con- 
structive work the Bishop, throughout these closing 
years of his life, continued as arduously as ever to visit 
his vast diocese, only once being detained at home by 
a slight accident, when he broke a rib. Concerning one 
of these journeys he wrote : 

I never before did so much preaching as I have done this 
time, and special strength has been given me for it. 

In another letter he wrote : 

On my recent journey I had quite as much roughing as 
almost at any time before, both as regards the poorness of the 


inns and as regards the difficulty of getting food. The roads 
also were bad, but the weather was good, and so bad roads did 
not trouble us so much, except that the hills were terrible. But 
I slept in yao-tien-tst (wayside inns) more on this journey than 
I have done for many years, though I think the sufferers were 
more my men than myself, for they kindly allowed me to have 
any room that was available. 

One of his most trying journeys was in the late 
autumn of 1924, when he visited Mienchuhsien for the 
marriage of Bishop Mowll. This alone entailed the 
best part of three weeks' hard travelling, though the 
hardships were to him as nothing if he could rejoice 
with his friend. 

As an illustration of the way in which he did rejoice 
with those who rejoiced we may quote part of his 
letter of congratulation to Bishop Mowll upon his 
engagement, as we shall have occasion later on to see 
how he could suffer with those who suffered, when 
Bishop and Mrs. Mowll subsequently fell into the 
hands of the brigands. 

Writing on September 6 to his Assistant-Bishop, 
Bishop Cassels said : 

I have just received yours of the 28th ult., and write at 
once to give you my most whole-hearted and warmest congratu- 
lations on your engagement to Miss Martin. 

It is delightful news. Miss Martin is one whom we all 
appreciate most fully. She is one of the very best sort. I am 
sure that you will help each other very much, and that your 
marriage will be for the good of the work. 

The C.M.S. debate on the allowance for an unmarried 
missionary Bishop may now come to an abrupt close ! ! 

I wish you would allow me the privilege of marrying you, 
wherever the wedding is to be. It is sad that Paoning is so far, 
and that we cannot have the privilege of sending Miss Martin 
off from our home. 

Of the journey for this joyful event Bishop Cassels 
subsequently wrote : 

I thought it right to go over for the wedding, and at the 
time felt increasingly so, but it has been a long journey, and 


the first four days were some of the worst travelling days I have 
had. There had been continuous small fine rain for a couple 
of weeks before I started, and this continued, so that the roads 
were deep in slippery mud even where there were stones. 

In another letter written the same year he says : 

My own work during the past quarter has been unusually 
arduous and anxious. . . . My only desire is that it may be 
acceptable to Him for Whom it has been done, and that it may 
bring forth fruit to His glory. . . . 

We must all of us, you at home and we on the field, in nothing 
be terrified by these difficulties, but work and pray together. . . . 
" With the help of my God I shall leap over a wall." Let 
that be our cry as we face the hindrances before us. 


How keenly I have realised that strong craving which many feel 
for the last words, the last looks, of those they love ! Such words 
and looks are a kind of testament. They have a solemn and sacred 
character which is not merely an effect of our imagination. For 
that which is on the brink of death already participates to some 
extent in eternity. AMIEL. 

MEMORY loves to linger around the last things of the 
departed. The last words and last deeds all have upon 
them something of the reflex glow of that better country 
to which they have gone. In the Bishop's life we have 
now come to a period when most things are for the last 
time. And his last journey, of which we shall speak in 
some detail, was one of the most painful and perilous 
he ever undertook. 

His last Christmas on earth was a day of mingled 
joy and sorrow, sorrow because the anti- Christian party 
in China had chosen that day, above all days, for 
demonstrations of hate. 

During the last few months [he wrote early in 1925] there 
has sprung up an anti- Christian movement which is, I think, 
entirely new. We hear of it in provinces as far apart as Canton, 
Chekiang, Hupeh and Hunan, and the fact that in all these 
provinces there were anti- Christian demonstrations at Christ- 
mas shows that the movement is definitely organised. 

In some of these places open-air meetings have been held, 
Bibles have been publicly destroyed, abusive literature circu- 
lated, and a trying and provocative attitude assumed towards 
missionaries and Chinese Christians. 

But in Paoning conditions were more quiet, and in 



a letter to Bishop Mowll written on Boxing Day, 1924, 
he said : 

We had over sixty communicants at the early celebration 
yesterday morning, and a good congregation at the morning 
service, as well as at the service the evening before. 

To-day Pat's [Mr. Bruce] schoolboys are giving a meal 
for one hundred and sixty poor people, and on Saturday the 
girls are doing something similar for poor children. 

In January of the New Year, the last year of his 
life, the West China Missionary Conference was held 
in Chengtu, and through some misunderstanding the 
Bishop's name was put down on the programme to give 
some devotional addresses. Meantime, however, the 
Bishop had sent out a circular mentioning a number of 
the things which he had engaged to do during January, 
all matters which could not be postponed. He felt he 
must carry through his own programme and not go to 
the Conference. Writing, therefore, to Bishop Mowll 
on Boxing Day, 1924, he said : 

When you, dear brother, are over there there is far less need 
for me to take the long and expensive journey. . . . 

I have tried to pray daily that I may be guided and that 
God's blessing may rest upon the Conference, and that you 
may be given special help in your work there. I am old and 
dried up ; you with your freshness and energy will be a great 

He then proceeds to speak about various handbooks 
which may assist Bishop Mowll, and his remarks throw 
an interesting light upon his own practices. 

With regard to handbooks for Chairmen, I have two, an 
English one by Sir Reginald Polgrave, late Clerk of the House 
of Commons ; and an American one, well-known as Robert's 
Rules of Order. The Rules differ in England and America, 
but generally speaking the American Rules carry more weight 
out here in China, and particularly at places like Chengtu ; but 
even in the C.M.S. Conference we have a good deal gone by 


Robert's Rules. Therefore I am only sending you the latter. 
You will find that it wants some careful attention and study. I 
shall be glad to have the book in due course, but please keep 
it for the present. 

Amid the growing tide of anti-foreign and anti- 
Christian feeling the Bishop encouraged himself in 
some of the brighter aspects of the work, especially in 
the remarkable growth of the Sunday Schools through- 
out the diocese, and in the work of the evangelistic 
bands, which especially during the Chinese New Year 
holidays devoted themselves to the preaching of the 
Gospel. While he thanked God for the work of the 
Hospitals, of the Training College, and of the schools, 
he wrote : 

Yet everywhere I see the need of greater spiritual power and 
keener devotion to the Lord, both among ourselves and the 
Chinese Christians and ... I beg for your continued and 
increasing prayers that God's Spirit may be poured out upon 
us in fuller measure. 

With February came the fortieth anniversary of his 
first sailing for China, and he began to receive con- 
gratulatory messages from many of his friends. 

Some have written to me [he wrote] most kindly re the 
fortieth anniversary of my leaving England for China. Yet in 
other ways it has been a very sad and trying time. 

The trials to which he refers were connected with 
the growing spirit of nationalism within the Church, 
which was taking on an anti-foreign aspect. 

Last Sunday [he writes], the i5th of the New Year, the 
Cathedral was crowded chiefly with women who could not be 

seated. preached for over an hour, his themes being such 

as England's exploitation of India ; socialism ; self-expression. 
I do not know what he could have been reading, but we all 
longed for a little Gospel. 


It was evident that the situation was serious when 
one of the most trusted of the Chinese clergy could thus 
discourse in the Cathedral, yet despite the gathering 
clouds the Bishop prepared for one of the most arduous 
journeys he had ever undertaken. In April he sent 
out a circular letter giving some dates of his expected 
arrival at various stations in the Eastern portion of the 
diocese, his purpose being to travel through the rough 
and hilly country up to the extreme north-east of the 
province, and thence work his way southward and back 
home again. Though he knew it not, this was to be 
his last journey. 

After he had been travelling nearly a month he wrote : 

I have been visiting some out-stations which I have never 
been able to get to before. I have had a difficult and dangerous 
journey through a remote part of the diocese. The journey 
has been made worse by the sad famine conditions which 
prevail, owing to the failure of the crops last year, and which 
are specially serious in the region through which I have come. 
The famine is now being followed by an epidemic of famine 
fever, the poor victims of which are everywhere to be seen. I 
have never before, I think, been in such close contact with the 
dead and dying. 

The flooded conditions of the mountain streams and rivers, 
owing to the heavy rains we encountered, added to the difficulty 
of the journey. For these streams had to be crossed and 
recrossed scores of times, and there was an almost complete 
absence of bridges, and only a very occasional ferry boat. So 
the rivers had to be forded, and they were sometimes very- 
deep. . . . 

There are a few scattered Christians with their little meeting 
places ten and twenty miles from Pachow. It was a pleasure 
to meet with these. . . . The postmaster at Tungkiang is an 
old Mission schoolboy, and kindly took me in for the night. 
But after that for some days there was no trace of any knowledge 
of the truth until when, getting near Taiping, a colporteur met 
me by arrangement. . . . 

At Taiping I found Miss M. E. Fearon and Miss L. Smith 
fairly well, they are bravely holding this distant and isolated 
outpost with the help of a catechist. . . . 

After this, on my way south, I found many evidences of the 


work of the Rev. A. T. Polhill, to whom this region owes so 
much ; also to the book-selling tours of Mr. Hayman. The 
Rev. C. B. Hannah met me half-way down to Suiting and pre- 
sented sixteen candidates for Confirmation. . . . 

Leaving there we took boats for Tungsiang, but the rapids 
were so terrible owing to another heavy storm of rain, and our 
boat was nearly swallowed up by the yellow waves of the flooded 
stream which rose above it like the great claws of a great sea 
monster intent on dragging the boat under, that we seized the 
first opportunity of getting to land, and continuing our journey 
by road, praising God for our escape. 

When this letter was written the Bishop still had 
to press on to Kaihsien, Wanhsien, and Kweifu, and 
thence return to Paoning, and in his letter he pleads for 
the constant supplications of friends for those remote 
regions through which he had recently passed, and 
especially that God would raise up more Chinese 

We happily also have a number of personal letters 
written by the Bishop during this, his last journey, from 
which some quotations must be given. 

Writing to Bishop Mowll from an inn on the road 
to Taiping on May 8, he said : 

I have been reading your addresses at the Chengtu Confer- 
ence with much thankfulness. They are admirable and must 
have been of great usefulness. And I felt at once that they 
ought to be given again at the meeting of the Diocesan Synod 
at Paoning in the autumn. So with all the authority I have 
as Bishop of the diocese I take the first opportunity of writing 
to say that you must give these addresses again. 

I rejoiced again and again as I read them. The root is 
there the great foundation truths, I mean and the fruit is 
there the outcome of practical Christianity. And all is so 
well applied to the situation in China. I want our own people 
to hear the addresses. . . . 

As far as I can make out no missionary has travelled this 
route before, namely from Tungkiang to Taiping. It is not 
only a very bad road (made worse and actually impassable for 
a time by a torrent of rain on Tuesday night and all day Wednes- 
day) but we have seen dreadful scenes as a result of the terrible 



famine conditions prevailing, especially around Pachow and 

I have been in closer contact with the dead and dying than 
ever before. My chair men have had to pay 550 cash for one 
basin of rice and 800 cash for a meal. But often rice could not 
be got at all, and to-night after trying in all directions the men 
have at last heard of some Indian corn for supper, which when 
they have secured they will have to grind down before it can 
be cooked. Fortunately my wife supplied me with a quantity 
of bread which has lasted till now. I have only been away 
eight or nine days so far, but it seems weeks. 

There are also a few precious notes written to his 
wife on this journey, from which we are privileged to 

Writing from an inn thirty miles from Pachow on 
May 4 he said : 

Another day has passed, but it is only the sixth away from 
home, though it seems like several weeks. . . . 

One of my coolies is giving a good deal of trouble, and this 
evening two of the chair men had to go back to meet him. He 
complains of a strained leg. I fear he will not stand the rest 
of the journey. 

There is a great deal of sickness at Pachow, and in this 
direction, the result of famine conditions. . . . The Lord has 
been very gracious in supplying a passable inn here and in 
bringing the coolie in at last. ... I am hoping to find a 
Post Office at Tungkiang to post this. You are much in my 
thoughts and prayers. 

Writing from the Tungkiang Post Office the next 
day he continued : 

We found it difficult to find an inn here, and being opposite 
the Post Office the Postmaster recognised me and came out 
and invited me to stay here. I was very thankful to have a 
clean and cool place, and had been praying for this. The 
Postmaster is the youngest son of old Liang Sien-seng of 
Yinglingshan, Pachow. He was at school at Nanpu and after- 
wards, I believe, at the Hostel at Chengtu. 

Writing on May 6 when ten miles from Tungkiang, 
he said : 


The expected storm burst last night and the rain came 
pouring down in torrents. But we started about 6 A.M. the 
rain being less, and it has taken us till now i P.M. nearly 
to do thirty li, partly owing to the difficulty of crossing streams. 
The river here has risen twenty feet, they say, and it is still 

I fear that we shall have to remain here the night, as the 
rain is pouring down just now indeed it has rained the whole 
way. This will, I fear, delay my reaching Taiping at the time 
fixed. . . . But one must cheerfully accept the situation and 
praise God. I long to know how you are, dearest. 

Towards the end of this long journey, in an undated 
letter written at Nanpu late at night, he says : 

I arrived at dusk this evening, and on my way up gave the 
letter I wrote you on the boat to the gate-keeper to take at once 
to the Post Office. . . . After coming up I found your parcel, 
and all your very kind and loving letters. How good it was 
of you to send the clean suits, etc. I shall be very glad of one 
to-morrow, for though I have been most careful with this one 
and only worn it in the stations, yet it is pretty dirty. Thank 
you very much. 

I am indeed glad to be near the end of my journey, and 
have often wondered whether I shall ever be able to go through 
this strain again. I felt I must just write these few lines before 
turning in, to thank you very much for sending the things. 
But I must get to bed now for I am very tired. . . . 

P.S. Sunday morning. 5 A.M. It was a very hot night, 
but is a beautiful morning now at 5 o'clock. 

I got up early, partly because I am now accustomed to do 
so, but also because I wanted to add a few lines to this letter, 
as the bearer says he has to start back early. 

Thanks so much for the clothes so carefully done up in your 
own tidy and beautiful way. When I heard that a messenger 
had come I wondered whether you could have sent me a clean 
suit, and there it was ! 

His fear that he could not again endure such strain 
was more deeply founded than he knew, for he never 
really recovered from the fatigue and exhaustion of 
this journey, which possibly laid him open to the fatal 
disease to which he finally succumbed. 


In the course of this journey, on June 10 the Bishop 
wrote to the Rev. W. H. Aldis as follows : 

I have now visited some ten stations and a similar number 
of out-stations. At the stations I have usually spent two days. 
During that time there have probably been three meetings or 
services a day ; there have been interviews and consultations 
with missionaries and Chinese leaders ; houses new and old 
to be examined ; proposed sites to be considered and so on, 
but above all, the most exhausting Chinese feasts have to be 
attended. It is, I have no doubt, necessary to attend these 
functions, but to make them of real profit one needs to be 
specially full of spiritual freshness and power. 

It has been a privilege to meet so many of one's fellow- 
workers, thirty-one so far. They are wonderfully kind and 
loyal. Would that I were more worthy of their loyalty. . . . 

It has been very cheering to see real progress in some 
directions, and to meet truly converted men and women, 
though, of course, one longs for much greater progress, and 
to see far greater working of God's Holy Spirit. I was much 
touched at Tachu by the intenseness of the newly confirmed 
(especially women) who attended the Holy Communion for 
the first time ; and I can never stop the spontaneous prayer 
that breaks out from these simple Christians at these times. 

Now I am on my way back and do not expect to have much 
to do at Yingshan or Nanpu, having visited these places earlier 
in the year. 

But before we close this chapter on his last journey 
there is one other letter to his wife from which we must 
quote, though the full date is not given. Writing on 
" Sunday afternoon " from Tsien-fu-ch'ang he said : 

You are often in my thoughts and prayers, dear Louie, and 
I do hope you are getting on well and not overdoing it. Life 
is still a battle, and will be to the end, and so we must be content 
to fight on and not to faint. 

Difficulties there will be to the end, but we must meet them 
gladly and hopefully and get good out of them. 

This was ever the spirit in which the Bishop faced 
life. Difficulties, instead of daunting him, seemed to 
provoke him to still more dogged determination to win 
through. They fanned his zeal into a flame. 


In one of his most striking addresses, entitled " He 
smote thrice and stayed ", this resolve to conquer, 
come what may, is well illustrated. The address is 
based upon the visit of Joash, King of Israel, to the 
aged prophet Elisha, when the prophet told the king 
to take bow and arrows and with the arrows smite upon 
the ground. But the king smote only thrice, and stayed. 
" And the man of God was wroth with him and said, 
Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times ; then 
hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it ; 
whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice." 
Pressing home this truth the Bishop said : 

I am filled with fear that the Church is showing indications 
of staying just now. . . . Do I speak to-night to anyone who 
is beginning to stay in his efforts for this missionary cause ? 
Are you inclined to hang up your bow and put away your 
arrows ? Are you growing cold in praying ? Are you getting 
slack in giving ? Are you getting weary of working ? 

Oh, I pray you, consider what blessing you are losing, what 
victory you are missing, what loss you are bringing upon the 
Church of God if you are holding back and staying. I pray 
you to-night rise up again, renew your efforts ; revive your 
zeal ; go once again to your prayers and say to the Lord, " I 
have put my hand to the plough, I will not look back. I have 
begun the race ; I will run to the end." 

It was in this spirit he himself continued. He 
would never look back, but ever press towards the goal. 


And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel 
prevailed ; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 

But Moses' hands were heavy ; and they took a stone, and put 
it under him, and he sat thereon ; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his 
hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side ; 
and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 

EXODUS xvii. 11-12. 

LONG before the Bishop was back at Paoning from the 
journey recorded in the last chapter, the tragedy of 
May 30, 1925, in Shanghai, had plunged the whole 
country into an unprecedented ferment. The much 
to be regretted shooting of Chinese students by the 
Municipal Police during the riot in Shanghai was as a 
match to tinder or a spark to powder. For months 
past the passions of the people had been slowly aroused 
by an organised propaganda encouraged by Bolshevik 
agents, and the unfortunate incidents at Shanghai and 
elsewhere were all that were needed to cause an 
immense upheaval throughout the whole country. 

One of the outstanding features felt in Szechwan 
was the formation in every city of a Society or Associa- 
tion for Foreign Affairs, which, where the officials were 
unfriendly, assumed the fictitious title of The Athletic 
Society. This organisation, composed chiefly of 
students and schoolboys, issued a vast quantity of 
literature of a scurrilous and untruthful character, 
chiefly directed against Great Britain and Japan. It 
demanded the revision of Treaties, the boycott of 



foreign goods, and warned servants and other employees 
not to become or to be the slaves of foreigners. Every 
effort was made to withdraw children from Mission 
schools, and in some centres Mission premises were 
actually attacked. 

At Shunking the students were exceedingly savage. 
Hundreds paraded the streets with banners, calling 
upon their fellow-countrymen to rise against the 
foreigners, while scurrilous placards and hand-bills 
were circulated everywhere. In one of the out-stations 
the Mission furniture was destroyed, the Christians 
dragged before the idols and urged to recant, and when 
they refused to do so they were most shamefully and 
cruelly treated, and even threatened with death. 

Happily at Paoning the students received little 
encouragement, and the situation was not as acute as 
elsewhere. The Bishop, however, was largely in the 
dark as to the real facts, direct news from Shanghai 
being but limited, and only Chinese sources of informa- 
tion being available. He was constantly being asked 
on the streets, " When are you leaving ? " What the 
Chinese information was like may be gathered from the 
following extract from one of the Bishop's letters. 
Writing on July 3, he said : 

I have just been reading over the printed copy of a circular 
telegram sent from some thirty schools at Shunking to Peking 
and all the other chief authorities in China. It says that some 
hundreds of students were killed in Shanghai and several 
thousands wounded in the rioting, and amongst the demands 
it makes some are as follows : that $280,000 should be paid 
as compensation for each of those who has been killed ; that 
the British and Japanese Consuls should be degraded ; that the 
Mixed Court at Shanghai and the Police Office should be 
abolished ; that there should be a drastic revision of the 
treaties and a number of alterations made in favour of China ; 
that England and Japan should not be allowed to open schools 
or reading-rooms in China ; that all debts to these countries 


should be cancelled ; that the police who fired on the crowd 
should be sentenced to death ; that England and Japan should 
acknowledge their faults and give security for future good 
behaviour ! These are amongst the minimum demands which 
are made. Meanwhile, the telegram goes on to say that it 
behoves China to send all its armies to the coast, thoroughly 
equipped for action ; that all goods from England and Japan 
should be boycotted ; that no food should be sold to the 
members of those nations ; and that no one should be allowed 
to serve them ; that all the schools opened by them should be 
closed, and no one should be allowed to enter the Churches. 

For the third time in his life the Bishop was brought 
face to face with a serious national crisis involving heavy 
responsibility upon him, so far as the missionaries were 
concerned. Physically he had not recovered from the 
exhausting effects of his recent journey. His head was 
weary, and he felt physically unequal to heavy strain. 
None the less, however, he at once set himself to 
encourage his fellow -workers and prevent any hasty 
action on their part. For himself he stayed his heart 
upon the first half of Isaiah vii., where the Lord bade 
His servant, in face of a confederacy, to " Take heed 
and be quiet ; fear not, neither let thine heart be faint ". 

What pained him most, however, was not the anti- 
foreign spirit of the people, but the suspicion and 
distrust which manifested themselves among the 
Christians and even among some of the clergy. One 
or two of these, including one in whom he had put the 
utmost confidence, seemed quite prepared to boycott 
the missionaries. One, if not more, declared that the 
foreigners were only there on sufferance, and another 
one asserted that the missionaries were emissaries of 
foreign Governments sent to prepare the way for trade. 

We have worsted bad storms in the past [he wrote], and we 
shall by the grace of God weather this one, believing that it 
will work out for the good of God's people. Meanwhile the 
situation is very trying. 


As had previously happened at a time of crisis, 
telegrams were sent from Chungking on Consular 
authority to certain stations urging the workers to 
leave. The Bishop immediately not only telegraphed 
to the stations exhorting the workers not to be pre- 
cipitate, but also communicated with the Consular 
Authorities direct. He recognised that in the heat of 
summer long overland journeys might prove fatal ; 
that many would not have sufficient money in hand, 
and the Chinese at that time would not cash cheques ; 
that it was wiser to remain among friends than to 
journey into disturbed areas among strangers. Happily 
the Consul- General at Chengtu had recently written 
advising the workers to " sit tight, and avoid all kinds 
of friction by the exercise of patience and tact ". The 
Bishop felt this was the best procedure, and when he 
obtained the Consul- General's permission to use dis- 
cretion as local circumstances directed, he continued 
to send daily bulletins and messages to all the stations 
giving wise and loving counsel and advice. From these 
letters a few sentences may well be quoted. 

July loth. It is pretty clear that a strict boycott is being 
organised against Britishers, and it may become very difficult 
to get provisions ; also that possibly some of our servants, 
especially those who reside outside, may be induced to leave us. 
With this in view provisions should be laid in and any other 
possible steps taken at once to provide against the above 
contingencies. . . . 

It is one thing for people along the Yangtze valley to leave 
by steamer ; it is quite another thing for missionaries in the 
far interior to attempt the journey. 

Above all, let us recall again the power of prayer, and make 
supplication, as we are bound to do, for the authorities ; pray- 
ing also that the forces of evil may be subdued under God's 
mighty Hand, and that the Christian leaders may not be 
carried away by the present agitation. 

July i^th. Let us keep our heads clear and our hearts and 


minds stayed on the Lord in prayer. I need not repeat what I 
said in my circular of the loth. 

July 2Oth. I do trust you will all be kept in peace and rest, 
and sheltered from the great heat. Avoid attracting attention, 
and keep as quiet as possible. Do nothing to cause irritation. 

July 2,\th. I am well aware that the circumstances on this 
occasion are very different, but I cannot forget that during my 
time here we have twice been suddenly called off to go to the 
coast, and in both cases the journey has proved to have been 

It is very easy at this time to criticise the Chinese, but it is 
far more important for us to seek to learn what lessons we can 
from the present upheaval lessons especially with regard to 
our attitude to the Chinese leaders, and with regard to the fact 
that we are not permanent institutions here. 

May I seek to stir you all up to very earnest prayer at this 
time for all who are in authority. 

All this correspondence and its attendant responsi- 
bility was a heavy burden, and sorely taxed a man 
already overstrained. Throughout these trying days 
and weeks he had scarcely moved from his desk, and 
when the worst of the storm was over he continued 
without delay to press home the need of patience in the 
attitude of all towards the Chinese Christians. The 
following extracts from a circular dated August 12 will 
indicate the broad, sane outlook which characterised his 
counsels in these matters. 

Since it has become clearer that we could stay on, and since 
the first burst of the agitation has passed away and we have 
become more used to the situation, I have had a little leisure to 
meditate on the lessons which we ought to learn from the 
present upheaval. Some of them are as follows : 

(1) First of all, I think we need to learn the lesson of 
patience. The mist hangs very heavily around us just now, 
and we must wait till it clears before we can deal with the many 
problems that have been caused by the recent agitation. 

(2) I have felt that we need just now to seek to subdue the 
spirit of an undue criticism of the Chinese, and rather take the 
present opportunity of examining ourselves as to anything 
which we may have done to add to the present unrest. 


(3) We must learn to be content to follow in the steps- of 
our Master, Who was " despised and rejected of men ". " If 
they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much 
more they of His household ? " He was " kind to the un- 
thankful and the evil ". Let it be ours to " continue to do 
good, hoping for nothing again." 

(4) Another lesson forced upon us in rather a violent way is 
that we have been somewhat slow in carrying out what we have 
always aimed at, namely, the handing over of authority and 
control in Church and other matters to our Chinese fellow- 

(5) And lastly, we are forcibly reminded that we are here 
on sufferance and for a time, and that not only Churches, but 
schools and mission-houses and all must, in due course, be 
handed over to the Chinese. . . . 

These, at any rate, are some of the matters that have been 
laid upon me ; others may have a different light on the situa- 
tion. If so, perhaps they would let me share it. 

But further anxiety was to follow, for in the earlier 
part of August a party of eight missionaries and one 
child, including Bishop and Mrs. Mowll, were captured 
by brigands when resting in a holiday resort known as 
" Silverdale ", and carried off into the mountains. This 
fresh anxiety was a heavy burden and grief to the 
Bishop, but he found comfort and relief in the word, 
" David encouraged himself in the Lord his God ". 
" This ", he wrote, " has been a real thing to me." A 
few extracts from some of his personal letters to Bishop 
Mowll during his captivity will best indicate how he 
was exercised by this painful experience. He who had 
rejoiced at the time of Bishop Mowll's wedding now 
knew how to sorrow with those in captivity as though 
bound with them. In an undated letter he writes to 
Bishop Mowll : 

I do not know when a letter may reach you, nor indeed do 
I know how to write to you. I can only say that we are 
incessantly bowed before the Lord in earnest prayer for you 
all. The word, " Remember them that are in bonds as bound 
with them, and they that suffer adversity as being yourselves 


also in the body " is ever before me. And we are trying to 
put ourselves in your place (as far as we know anything about 
it) when we pray for you. 

Oh, what a time of suffering and anxiety it must be to you 
all, and how we long and long for more and later and better 
news. ... It is terrible being so much in the dark. 

I have proposed to come over to see what I could do to help, 
but ... I do not like to be away from the Post and Telegraph 
Office, as I should be when on the road ; lest I should miss 
the news " Know ye that our brother is set at liberty ". 

I go often and try to see the distant mountains to the south- 
west of this, and wonder if I can see any of the mountains 
where you are. No, I won't say are, but where you were when 
last we heard over a fortnight ago. Fancy a fortnight ago and 
no news since. 

When the glad news did come of their liberation he 
wrote on September 4 : 

A telegram has come from Mienchow saying " Party 
released ". 

Praise the Lord ! Hallelujah ! How we do give thanks. 
We have prayed morning, noon and night ; nay, very much 
more than that, and we greatly rejoice. . . . 

We are still praying much for you all with our thanksgivings. 

But though the release of the captives brought 
unspeakable relief, the Bishop was still bowed down 
before God on account of the conduct of one of his 
leading clergy. For him he wrote that he was praying 
all day long, and so he continued to the end. 

It had been proposed that the Diocesan Synod 
should be held in the autumn, and that on St. Luke's 
Day, the thirtieth anniversary of the Bishop's conse- 
cration, there should be some special celebration of the 
event, accompanied by a presentation. Both the 
workers on the field, and the Bishop's friends at home, 
had purposed to take action along three lines : 

(1) To make a personal presentation to the Bishop. 

(2) To build a pavilion in the Cathedral grounds to act as a 

Church Parish Hall and contain a memorial tablet. 


(3) To provide funds for the opening up of a new and 
unevangelised district to be a missionary district under 
the control of the Chinese Church. 

The disturbed state of the country made the holding 
of the Diocesan Synod impossible, but St. Luke's Day, 
1925, was not allowed to pass unnoticed. During the 
week-end the courtyards of the Bishop's house were 
decorated by the Chinese Christians ; on Sunday 
appropriate services were conducted, the preacher being 
Pastor Yii, in the absence of the Archdeacon ; and on 
the Monday presentations were made by the Chinese 
and foreigners. 

While deeply touched by these tributes of love, the 
beautiful and Christlike spirit in which he accepted 
them is manifest by the following priceless words 
written to his friends at home : 

It is deeply impressed on me that we must now remind 
ourselves again that it was not for praise or approval that we 
came out here. We came to follow in the steps of Him Who 
was despised and rejected of men, a Man of sorrows and 
acquainted with grief. Perhaps this is one of the chief lessons 
we have to learn at a time when an extraordinarily bitter hatred 
has been stirred up against us. "If they have called the Master 
of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of His house- 
hold." He was " kind to the unthankful and the evil ". May 
we continue " to do good, hoping for nothing again ". At the 
end of my thirty years' episcopate it is far better to be thus 
following the Master's steps than receiving commendation and 
congratulations from men. 

These words were actually written before the 
presentation was made. When he did receive the gift 
he wrote again as follows : 

Since writing the above I have received an exceedingly kind 
and most touching letter, of which I am quite unworthy, signed 
by the Chairman and Secretaries of the Diocesan Association, 
offering congratulations on the completion of the thirty years 
of my Episcopate, and referring to a most kind and generous 
gift that friends have combined to present to me at this time. 


For what has been done let not God be robbed of the glory 
due to Him and to Him alone. It is true that I have been 
allowed to be here all these years, but it is my fellow-labourers 
who have done the work. 

I am very thankful that you have alluded to my dear wife, 
who has worked with me all these years. I do not think any- 
body quite realises what she has done for the women of this 
place. But " the Day will declare it ". 

Little did he or his friends realise that within less 
than three weeks the Bishop's Home-call would come. 
In a letter to Bishop Mowll dated October 30, in 
which he refers to a presentation from the Kaihsien 
Church, he concludes in the following words : 

I must not write at length as I have an attack of fever, which 
makes me rather good for nothing. 

In another letter addressed to Mr. Stark under date 
of October 31, which is the last letter we have seen, 
and is probably the last from his pen, after referring to 
many personal details and to a certain anti- Christian 
document, he concludes with the following words : 

I am sorry to say that the last day or so she (Mrs. Houghton) 
has been obliged to wait on me and my wife, as some sort of 
fever has taken possession of us. 

This sickness was, to use the imagery of Bunyan, 
none other than the " arrow with a point sharpened 
with love ", which was let into the heart of the Bishop 
and his wife, " which by degrees wrought so effectually" 
that at the time appointed they must be gone. 


Now while they lay here, and waited for the good hour, there 
was a noise in the town that there was a Post come from the Celestial 
City, with matter of great importance. ... So the Post presented 
... a letter, the contents whereof was, " Hail . . I bring thee 
tidings that the Master calleth for thee, and expecteth that thou 
shouldest stand in His presence, in clothes of immortality, within 
this ten days ". JOHN BUNYAN. 

THE labourer's task was done. The pilgrim Bishop 
for if ever there were a pilgrim Bishop it was he with 
his close and long acquaintance with Chinese roads and 
wayside inns had with his wife come to the banks of 
that river which must needs be crossed to reach the 
gates of the Celestial City. In God's good providence 
the passing of that stream was not to be prolonged. 
The way down into the valley was short and steep, and 
the welcome on the Eternal shore not long delayed. 
To us death is as the setting sun, to those on the other 
side it is the dawn of the Eternal day. 

It was on Monday, October 26, that the Bishop first 
began to feel unwell. On Tuesday afternoon, still 
feeling indisposed, he played a game of tennis with 
Mr. Bruce, his son-in-law, hoping thus to shake off his 
indisposition. On Wednesday, the day which he had 
for so many years devoted to special prayer for the 
West China Diocese, he conducted as usual the season 
of intercession, giving as his address a remarkable 
discourse on " numbering ". 

There is something strikingly fitting in the way the 



Bishop's life was rounded off. Had he known that his 
own days were numbered, and that this was the last 
address he would deliver, he could not have chosen a 
more appropriate subject, or have ordered his last days 
better, for in this address he gathered up the Scriptural 
teaching on the subject of " numbering " and applied 
it to what God had done during his own lifetime in 
Western China. Fuller reference to this is reserved 
for the following chapter. 

Later in the day he wrote a reply to the Diocesan 
Association in acknowledgment of their letter of con- 
gratulation and of their gifts : 

You use the word congratulations [he said], and if it means 
as it ought to, to sympathise and to share joy with another, it 
is for me a welcome word ; and I desire to thank you very 
heartily in rejoicing with me in the Lord's goodness to us since 
the formation of the diocese thirty years ago. . . . 

In your letter you are kind enough to allude to my dear 
wife, who has been spared to work with me all these years, and 
who is now completing her forty years of service in this land. 
In old days she not only lived a most strenuous life, bringing 
up our children largely without any medical assistance, which 
is generally regarded as essential, and sharing with me the hard- 
ships of those times, but both then and now she has never 
ceased from her work amongst the women, literally scores of 
whom have been brought into the light through her instru- 

I do not hesitate to refer to all these things, for it is meet and 
right that we should remember all the way that the Lord our 
God has led us ; but I cannot help adding that at this time I 
feel more deeply than ever before my own frailties and failures, 
and how much more might have been done with a better 
instrument. May the Lord pardon all my imperfections. 

No one then dreamed that within ten days he was 
to enter into the Master's presence and receive his 
reward. But later in the same day he suffered a severe 
rigor when feverish symptoms developed. 

On Thursday Mrs. Cassels began to manifest the 
same symptoms, a high temperature being evident, 


while Friday was a trying day for both. None the less, 
the Bishop continued at his correspondence, the letter 
to Bishop Mowll already quoted being penned on this 

On Saturday the Bishop still continued to attend to 
his correspondence although urged to go to bed. 

Most reluctantly he felt unable to speak at some 
special meetings tield that day in the Training College, 
nor was he able to fulfil his promise to preach in the 
Cathedral on Sunday. For this failure he was full of 

It had now become evident that his illness was 
not, as had at first been thought, malaria, and special 
precautions were taken to prevent infection, for Dr. 
Lawrence became convinced it was the same fever as 
had laid low one of the College students. But the 
Bishop's mind was still active, and he was constantly 
talking and thinking of others and giving directions 
concerning his letters, and it was with great relief he 
heard that the Archdeacon, for whom he had been daily 
and almost hourly praying for long months past, was 
returning to the city. Never had the Bishop uttered 
one word of reproach at his long absence, and when he 
heard that Mr. Ku was expected on Thursday he sent 
the office boy across the river with his card to welcome 
him back, and to say how sorry he was he could not 
come in person. 

On the same evening a messenger was sent to ask 
Dr. Lechler to come from Mienchuhsien for consulta- 
tion with Doctors Lawrence and Hillier, who were in 
attendance, and a telegram to the same effect was 
despatched to Mienchow. That the situation was 
critical all realised, but no one dreamed, even as early 
as Friday morning, that the end was so near. On 
Friday, however, the Bishop asked after the welfare of 



Mr. Tang, the College student who was ill, and was 
glad to know that he was better, and gratefully received 
messages of love and affection from his anxious friends. 
As the day progressed it was evident that the final fight 
for life had begun. Amid varying hopes and fears the 
disease ran its rapid course, and early on Saturday 
morning, November 7, about 5 o'clock, the Bishop 
passed beyond the veil into the immediate presence of 
his Lord. 

For another eight days Mrs. Cassels lingered on, 
but on Sunday afternoon, the i5th of November, she 
also entered into life eternal. 

For nearly forty years these two had laboured and 
toiled together, sharing life's joys and sorrows, and 
now in their death they were not divided. Death had 
become to them the entrance gate of life immortal. 

But to the loved ones left behind, and to the larger 
company who in China and at home had long looked 
to the Bishop for guidance and counsel, this sudden 
bereavement came as an almost overwhelming sorrow 
indeed. To those who in Paoning had been able to 
follow the rapid progress of the illness from day to day, 
the blow had fallen with a staggering swiftness, but to 
those who received the news by cable or telegram the 
sad tidings were as a bolt from the blue. To all the 
feeling was of an almost incredible loss. No one had 
known the West China Diocese without him. He 
was its Father, and had become identified with it, and 
it seemed impossible to think of it apart from him. 

But all such bereavements throw us back upon God 
Himself, the Source of all life and of all good. God's 
gifts are without repentance. What He doeth He 
doeth for ever. No circle He has formed can ever be 
broken since it must possess the security of His own 
nature. God's work abides whatever changes come. 


And in this assurance the last loving acts were paid to 
Bishop and Mrs. Cassels by confident and devoted 

Amid the hushed and reverent devotion of friends 
the two coffins were placed side by side in the home, 
the courtyards of which had been beautifully decorated 
by the Chinese. A Communion Service in English was 
held on Monday, a memorial service on Tuesday, and 
the funeral took place on Wednesday morning, when all 
that was mortal of these two immortal lives was laid 
to rest side by side in a grave between the West door 
of the Cathedral and a path leading to the Mission 
compound, Bishop Mowll, Archdeacon Ku, and 
the Rev. C. H. Parsons officiating, with a number of 
Chinese and foreign clergy in attendance. Large 
crowds of Chinese assembled to pay their last respects, 
and as the procession passed through the streets a 
sympathetic silence was felt by all. 

" Nothing is here for tears ", but rather for rejoic- 
ing. Our friends have passed beyond the storms and 
tempests of life to be at home with God. They have 
left behind a memory which shall not die, and a work 
for God which cannot be destroyed. They had fought 
the good fight, they had finished the course, they had 
kept the faith ; henceforth there is laid up for them 
the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the 
righteous Judge, shall give them in that day. And 
the Bishop would add, could he speak, " And not to 
me only, but also to all them that have loved His 
appearing ". 


This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to 
die, yet their friendship and society are in the best sense ever present, 
because immortal. WILLIAM PENN. 

FORTY years ago, when Bishop Cassels first went to 
China, it would have been possible to travel throughout 
the length and breadth of Szechwan and yet find 
no Christian Church. To-day the situation is very 
different. A traveller on any of the main roads will 
now seldom make a day's stage of thirty miles without 
passing some market or city in which there is a little 
Church and a growing Christian community. If we 
limit our observations to the West China Diocese, by 
which we mean that actual area in which Bishop Cassels 
laboured, the following figures will indicate what has 
been accomplished. These figures are the same as 
those given by the Bishop in his last address, in which 
he recognised that numbering, if used for any boastful 
or vainglorious purpose, was a curse, but if to show 
forth the glory of God was then right and our bounden 
duty. 1 

When I came here [wrote the Bishop] nearly forty years ago, 
there was no Mission House or Church. Now there are 
twenty-five central stations and one hundred and twenty out- 
stations, and some forty or fifty Churches have been built. 
Then there were no Christians nor even a catechumen of any 
kind. Now over 10,000 converts have been baptized, and of 
these 6700 odd have been confirmed ; and the returns show 
that there are nearly 2500 baptized persons who have not yet 
been confirmed, as well as over 2000 catechumens, a proportion 

1 For the Bishop's notes of this address, see Appendix. 


Photograph by : 

ManffiCr Pox. 


To face page 356. 


of whom will, it is hoped, be baptized before long. And as to 
Chinese workers, it is hardly necessary to say that there were 
none of any kind at all in those days. But now twelve tried 
men have been admitted to Holy Orders, of whom one has 
passed away and one has been made Archdeacon. There are 
also in the diocese ninety-eight licensed preachers, not includ- 
ing colporteurs, Bible-women and others. 

I must not stay to allude in detail to the Schools for boys and 
girls, the Hospitals, the Hostel at Chengtu, the Training 
College (an institution of the greatest value), nor to the Cathedral, 
which have all come into being since the formation of the 

For what has been done I give most humble and hearty 
thanks to God on high. 

And it is the devoted band of my dear fellow-labourers, 
both missionary and Chinese, that God has used as His instru- 
ments during these forty years, and particularly during the 
thirty years since the formation of the diocese. 

But whilst praising God for what He has done, we need to 
remind ourselves and you that this is but a drop in the bucket 
to the work which lies before us. 

A well-known historian, writing on the decisive 
battles of the world, has speculated as to the course of 
history had these battles not been fought or had they 
been lost instead of won. It may perhaps be legitimate 
to surmise on the alternative course of events in West 
China had Bishop Cassels never devoted his life to 
that service. Would the China Inland Mission ever 
have had so well-developed a Church of England 
section ? and if not, would Mr. Horsburgh and his 
devoted pioneers, who founded the C.M.S. West China 
Mission, ever have selected that portion of the field ? 
Many such questions may arise, and only serve to 
emphasise what God has wrought through His ap- 
pointed man. Looking back over the course of events 
one cannot but feel that Bishop Cassels was God's man" 
for this special task, for to him had been given special 
gifts and graces for laying the foundations. 

What has been written will suffice to show that he 


possessed the gifts of an organiser in no small measure ; 
that by temperament, as well as by training, he was a 
builder, a lover of order, a believer in Government and 
rightful authority. 

He was a humble and loving autocrat, one who ever 
disciplined himself and expected others to accept disci- 
pline also. While never seeking power or authority, 
when responsibility had been laid upon him he was 
prepared to fulfil his duty, not asking of others an 
obedience he was not prepared to render himself to 
those above him in the Lord. 

He was a man with a message, who knew experi- 
mentally Jesus Christ as the only secure foundation for 
life and faith. That was the only foundation he sought 
to lay. He was filled with evangelistic zeal from the 
beginning to the end of his life, and almost one of the 
last things he did was to visit the street Chapel for 
direct evangelistic work. 

He was a profound believer in prayer, establishing 
the custom, from his first entry into Szechwan, of 
special times and seasons for the task of intercession. 
He schooled himself in this sacred ministry, as one who 
for twenty years had laboured with him testified. " It 
was in listening to his prayers one learned how very 
much at home he was in the Secret Place. There was 
a holy intimacy in his praying, and the simplicity of a 
child in his faith. What I owe to the Bishop for those 
hours of fellowship at the Throne of Grace I can never 

It was this feature in his life which perhaps more 
deeply impressed his followers than any other, as has 
already been indicated. 

He possessed the eminent qualifications of stead- 
fastness and tenacity, and was essentially a man of set 
purpose. For the work of the pioneer, for constructive 


achievements in the face of opposition, such qualities are 
essential. Having set his hand to the plough he would 
not look back. When plans had been made and 
journeys mapped out he would go through with them 
no matter what lions stood in the way. What he under- 
took he would not leave until the task was accomplished, 
nor would he ever be deflected from what he conceived 
to be the path of duty. Having received the heavenly 
vision he suffered all rather than disobey. 

But though a man of set purpose he ever kept an 
open mind. He was no bigot, no partisan, ever ready 
to give due weight to new ideas or fresh methods. He 
was one of the first to see the high importance of giving 
the Chinese their rightful place, of seeking that they 
should increase and the foreigner decrease. Though 
British to the core the Anglo-Saxon old Adam did not 
dominate him. He was too generous, too considerate, 
too far-seeing, to be governed by narrow and parochial 

And perhaps one secret of his open-mindedness was 
his pre-eminent humility. In all conspicuous moments 
of his life this was manifest. Though strong, and in 
some senses dominating, he possessed the spirit of a 
little child, to which he referred in his first pastoral 
letter. And no man was more ready, if in the exercise 
of his authority he thought or others felt he had been 
severe, to take the humble part. He has been known 
openly and before his brethren to confess to impatience 
or harshness under provocation by the Chinese. It 
was because he had learned to be meek and lowly in 
heart that he found the Lord's yoke easy and His 
burden light. 

As a man he knew little or no fear, as was evidenced 
on many occasions when in perils by water, and when 
confronted by national crises. He was steady in the 


day of battle, calm and strong when others were 

Yet he was shy and strangely reserved, though this 
did not appear when work or duty demanded. He was 
not a ready mixer with men, but rather preoccupied 
with the great task. As has been well said of the late 
Dr. Denney, he had no small change, and showed 
little interest in small talk or the lighter side of life. 
He appeared to be, even though he might not be, 
somewhat bored with the ordinary social trivialities, 
yet no deed of kindness was too small, and as not a few 
tributes show, these are the things which many most 
remember. The mending of a sedan-chair, the carry- 
ing of a wounded Chinese boy, a tender solicitude for 
a puppy or a kitten, were marks of the true greatness of 
this somewhat preoccupied man. With him courtesy 
was never mere politeness, but the outward grace of a 
lovely and loving heart. Humour was there, though it 
was a deep spring which but seldom welled up. 

It was not every man who got near the Bishop, but 
really to know him was to love him, for he had a love 
which inspired love in others, a love which lasted. 
It was ", as one who knew him intimately has said, 
not love awakened so much by personal fascinations 
or brilliant social gifts, but rather the love born of 
profound respect for a life of transparent sincerity, of 
selfless devotion and of unreserved consecration." 

But the Bishop would not desire this book to close 
with its last words on himself, but rather on his work, 
or preferably God's work entrusted to him. 

His own life's story was only the opening chapter, 
for the task of evangelising West China is not yet 
accomplished, though his long day's work is done. 
In one of the last letters he ever wrote, only a few days 
before his death, he said : 



You allude to the work which has been done, or shall I not 
rather say begun, out here. 

He would have us then in conclusion 

Look at the end of the work, contrast 
The petty Done, the vast Undone. 

This is the vision he would commend to those who 
follow him, both Chinese and foreign, whether in 
humble or high office. As a wise master-builder, he 
laid the foundations, Jesus Christ Himself being the 
chief Corner-stone. It is for those who follow to 
consecrate themselves to the unfinished task, and in 
the same spirit of love and loyalty to build the super- 
structure. Thus shall the Church in Szechwan, to 
which he devoted his long life, be builded together for 
a habitation of God in the Spirit. 





The secret of success is often enquired for and here it is. It is 
not in gifts or human learning, or exceptional opportunities or any 
earthly advantages, but in a heart consumed with the flame of 
ardent, holy, heavenly love. BRAMWELL BOOTH. 

I can plod. That is my only genius. I can persevere in any 
definite pursuit. To this I owe everything. WILLIAM CAREY. 




AFTER the book was in type and the greater part 
indexed the author received from Mr. Cecil Cassels 
a number of personal letters written by the Bishop, 
his father, to Mrs. Cassels, his mother, with liberty 
to use the same. The great majority of these were 
written in Chinese inns or in his sedan-chair or 
hurriedly after a long day's work, and they are in the 
main quite personal and might even be called " love 
letters ". As Mr. Cecil Cassels notes, " They show 
how much my father felt his being away from home 
for such long spells as he felt necessary, and how he 
and my mother loved and depended on each other ". 

Though it is too late to incorporate these in the 
body of the book they are too valuable to be entirely 
withheld from publication, for they reveal a personal 
aspect of the Bishop's character only imperfectly 
disclosed elsewhere. The following portions are all 
that space permits, and these are given with a minimum 
of editorial introduction. 

The first is dated June 1896 and is addressed to 
Mrs. Cassels. 

My inn to-day is very fair. It is very filthy and has the 
usual pigsty, etc., underneath, but it has the very great advantage 
of a window at the back, with a delightful country view behind 
which brings in fresh air and light, so I am very thankful. . . . 

This morning, after a good time of prayer alone, I had the 
coolies in, and preached to them with prayer, and now I sit 
down for a little talk with you, my love. . . . 



I seem to have little in my head these days. That week at 
Paoning was a strain on me, and yet I felt very much helped in 
taking the various meetings and the ordinations. May the 
Lord grant an abiding blessing to all that was done ! 

I do trust dear has got settled down again. His 

outbreak was most unfortunate in all respects, and one of the 
most trying things that I have yet had. And yet, I was enabled 
to rejoice at it for my sake though grieved for the spirit he 
showed. . . . 

Dear Louie, we must continue to labour and to pray that the 
Lord would enable us to unite our brethren and sisters in one 
holy bond of peace and love. You can do much in this direc- 
tion by the grace of God. I want you to be looked up to as a 
" Mother in Israel " and to be one in whom others can feel 
they can confide. I want your sympathy to go out to every 
sad and troubled worker and every one who is in any way under 
the devil's power. 

You remember the verse Mrs. Thwaites of Salisbury 
sent me : 

He went in the strength of dependence 

To tread where the Master trod, 

To father and knit together the family of God ; 

With a conscience eased from burdens 

And a heart set free from care, 

To minister to every one always and everywhere. 

May this be true of both of us more and more. . . . 

I am already looking forward to the messenger you will be 
sending to me in a couple of days. How nice it will be to hear 
of you and of the dear children ! They and you are much in 
my mind, and my heart goes out to each one. . . . God bless 
you all ! May you have a happy day to-day. 

The next letter is addressed from the London 
Mission, Chungking, under date January 14, 1899. 
The Bishop was in Chungking on the occasion of the 
West China Conference referred to on page 208 of 
this book. In a personal letter to his wife the Bishop 
wrote : 

How often I long that you were with me here, and could 
share with me in all the interests of the time, and try to learn 
something with me from other friends. One feels such a 


poor, unworthy missionary by the side of many here, and 
longs to be more fitted for one's work. 

I was glad, however, you were not with me on the road, 
for though there was no disturbance yet the journey was not 
easy. The inns were worse than those I have had for years. 
Every night almost we got in an hour after dark, though only 
doing the usual stage. One night, though we travelled for an 
hour in the dark, we did not reach the stage, and as the coolie 
had gone on to get an inn I had no bedding, etc. Another 
night the inns were all full and we all shook down in an eating 
house on tables or the floor. At Hochow a crowd followed 
us to the river side and threw a little mud and shouted. . . . 

Writing again three days later the Bishop continues : 

The conference is very hard work, and gives little time 
for writing though I have many letters to attend to. I have 
had to take the chair and this has given me much extra work 
appointing committees, and making various arrangements, etc. 

I have seen very little yet of Mr. Hudson Taylor, but I think 
he wants me to wait for him and escort him up. ... The 
Lord guide ! Of course, personally, I long to return as soon 
as I can. I do not get used to being absent from you, darling ! 
God bless you. 

Nine days later the Bishop writes again, still from 

Poor Mr. Parsons has had a narrow escape [see page 209]. 
He left here on Tuesday forenoon and got 60 li to Yueh-lai- 
chang. The next day he took a boat as usual up the river. 

The story is a long one, but the boat was attacked on the 
river side. . . . The coolies and escort escaped, but the 
people ran at Mr. Parsons with spears and swords. He 
escaped over the side of the boat into the river, and was able 
to take hold of a sedan-chair that was upset into the water. 
From there he got to a gunboat where he was protected, and 
by which he was brought down here. The Lord providentially 
provided the gunboat and the chair in the water or he would 
have been drowned. . . . 

Mr. Parsons arrived here this morning still wet. We put 
him to bed and gave him sweet nitre and he seems alright. . . . 

I hope that I may be able to get away by Monday, so as to 
be able to get in before the [Chinese] New Year. I was praying 
for Mr. Parsons a good deal on Wednesday [the day of the 


trouble]. How strange that I should have been hindered from 
going against my own will. Should I have met the same or a 
different fate ? . . . 

I sent you quite a packet of letters by Mr. Parsons and some 
papers, I am sorry you won't get them. They would have 
told you how much my heart is with you and how hard it is to 
be away. But it must have been of the Lord that I did not go. 

A party of three starting for Suifu have now decided to 
delay their departure. But I feel I ought to go on. I have a 
family to return to and much work awaiting me. We are to 
have some special prayer to-morrow morning for guidance. 

It is very hard for me, darling, to be quite reconciled to 
anything just now, for I am very much wanting to return home 
[The Bishop's third son, Harold, was only a little over two 
months old], but it is never safe to have one's own way, and it 
may be that my life has been spared owing to my being willing 
to wait here when it seemed right to do so. I doubt very much 
whether I should have jumped into the river as Mr. Parsons 
did. . . . 

Good-night, my own love. How long the days seem and 
will seem till I can be back home again. . . . God bless you 
and all our dear little ones. Warmest kisses to them all. 

In another letter, undated but addressed from a 
hamlet 30 li from Mienchu, the Bishop writes again 
to his wife : 

I need not say that I pray for you, Dearest, constantly in 
my chair or by the way. It is while travelling that I get my 
best times of prayer alone. At the stations my time is so 
limited. " He sent me " has been a constant strength and 
comfort, and I have often alluded to it. ... As I see various 
kinds of family life, I, more and more, long that ours should be 
entirely beautiful for the Lord, and that truest love and joy 
should be manifested in every word and look. We want to 
aim at a higher Christian courtesy in our intercourse with one 
another ; and at a happy, cheerful may I not say merry ? 
manifestation of our love. 

I also desire, more than ever, to show a kind, thoughtful 
sympathy for my fellow-workers. I want more than ever to 
enter into their joys and sorrows. I learn, too, increasingly 
what a difference it makes to a visitor to get a warm welcome, 
and from little attentions to his room and so on to be made to 
feel that he is really welcome. 

Now, Darling, excuse this scrawl written hastily in in- 


convenient quarters in this inn. God, our Father, ever bless 
you more and more, and each of our dear little ones. 

In another undated letter written from Pachow 
on a Saturday night the Bishop says : 

I spent much time in prayer to-day in my chair asking for 
blessing here, and for a revival everywhere, and we realised the 
Lord's presence in our little prayer-meeting to-night. Now 
I keep believing for a good day to-morrow. The Confirmations 
will not be till Monday, but there will be Holy Communion 
and other services. 

We started before light this morning and reached here at 
dusk, so I am now ready for bed. I have not forgotten you 
to-day, darling, and have often prayed for you during the day 
and wish I were going straight home from here or from Peh- 
miao-ch'ang if it might be. This being so much away from 
my home is not a small trial that I have to bear gladly for the 
Lord's sake. He knows how difficult it is, and when the 
longings to be at home come over me, as they do so often, I 
remember the words " My grace is sufficient for thee ", and 
cling to them. 

I am not aware that I have ever yet hurried home one day 
before my work has been finished, but I have often been 
tempted to do so. Dear little Harold too what a bonnie 
little fellow he has grown ! But I saw so little of him this time. 
Is there no chance of your being able to come with me to 
Mienchow, I wonder. I must confess I do not see how it can 
be managed, but I wish it could. . . . 

I have been very much stirred up to prayer to-day and 
last night by reading some of Andrew Murray's Ministry of 
Intercession, which Mr. Horsburgh sent me just now from 

The next letter from which we will quote was 
written about eight years later, and gives a more 
personal and intimate insight into the Bishop's feelings 
when he received the Archbishop of Canterbury's 
request that he should succeed Bishop G. E. Moule 
at Hangchow, than is revealed in the correspondence 
which appears on pages 233-237. It is Bishop Cassels' 
confidential letter to his wife on this subject, dated 
Hankow, May 21, 1907. 

2 B 


I have a number of letters to write, and this great heat 
makes it difficult to do so. But my first letter must be to you, 
Love. . . . 

There is a very strong letter from the Archbishop of Canter- 
bury pretty well commanding me to take up the burdens of 
the diocese of Mid-China which Bishop Moule is laying down. 
There are also other letters from the Rev. H. E. Fox, the chief 
C.M.S. Secretary, and from the Rev. B. Baring Gould, both 
adding their weight to this matter. It may be as you can 
imagine, Dearest, a most terrible situation for me. ... I 
never expected such letters as these, and they have come 
upon me like a thunderbolt. 

I have had much prayer since the letters came, and have 
had prayer with Bishop Roots who is most kind and sym- 
pathetic. ... I propose to ask the Archbishop to allow me 
to take time to consider the position. . . . 

You will, of course, be praying much for me. God help 
us at this most solemn time. It seems impossible to give up 
Szechwan with the work just now beginning to develop, and 
all so dear to us, and so deeply woven in with our hearts, and 
to face the terrible difficulties of a new work in Mid-China 
with its new dialect, etc. etc. 

But yet but yet, Dearest, there hangs over me the awful 
fear of the bitterness of refusing a call, and the curse of fearing 
to go where one is called if this is a call. 

I refused to allow my name to stand to be elected as Chair- 
man of the Centenary Conference in Shanghai, and all through 
the Conference I felt that I had thrown away a post of influence 
and neglected an opportunity, and all through the Conference 
I seemed under a cloud. It was so different at the Anglican 
Conference. But I must turn to other letters. . . . 

I long to be back to be able to pray over it with you, Dearest. 
The heat is terrible, but it is now trying to thunder. 

Three days later the Bishop wrote his wife again, 
this time from the s.s. Kooling on the Yangtze 
between Hankow and Ichang. He had sent her a 
draft copy of his replies to the Archbishop and others, 
adding : 

Instead of repeating what I have written to the Archbishop, 
to Prebendary Fox, to Mr. Hoste and others, I send on a large 
packet of letters for you to read and to keep for me ; for I am 
weary of much writing, and my chest aches with stooping. . . . 


I long to get to you, Dearest, to pray and talk it all over 
with you. On all the great principles you will see what I 
have written. Hitherto I have hardly dared to face anything 
else. How earnestly you will be praying, Dearest ! . . . God 
ever bless you and watch over you. . . . Love to the dear 
children. I thought of dear Linda on her birthday. 

In another letter written the same day he continues : 

It is Ember-tide when there are special collects " for those 
who are to be called to any office or administration in the 
Church ". 

I received the Archbishop's letter on Whit-Tuesday and 
daily, almost hourly, has the collect gone up from my heart : 
" God, who didst teach the hearts of Thy faithful people 
by the sending to them the Light of Thy Holy Spirit ; Grant 
us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things 
and evermore to rejoice in His holy comfort." 

And the Gospel for that day has spoken to me as I have read 
the words, " When He putteth forth His own sheep He goeth 
before them and the sheep follow Him ". Can He be putting us 
forth ? I write the words through my tears. Can it be ? 

I have been through the Consecration Service this afternoon, 
but I broke down at the words of the Apostle (Acts xx.), " And 
now behold I go bound in the Spirit unto Jerusalem not 
knowing the things which shall befall me there, save that the 
Holy Spirit testifying unto me in every city, saying that bonds 
and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, 
neither count I my life dear unto myself, etc. etc." 

Oh Dearest ! Is the Lord calling us to leave all that we 
love to bear His Cross into a strange land ? The Missionary 
call and renunciation was an easy delight in those days of 
youthful zeal. But this this would indeed be a martyrdom 
a laying ourselves down on the altar to die. 

And the Archbishop calls me to it because it is difficult. 
And ah, dearest Love, how difficult it would be for you. I 
scarcely dare to think of it. To leave your friends and your 
converts, your classes, your home and all that you love. Can 
it be? 

How little we ever dreamt of having our nest stirred up in 
this way, if it is to be. But which ever way it is to be I pray 
that God will give us the strength and joy of unity and that we 
may see eye to eye, whether it is " yes " or " no ". Isaiah lii. 8. 
[The voice of Thy watchman ! They lift up the voice, together 
do they sing ; for they shall see eye to eye, when Jehovah 



returns to Zion.] I shall pray specially for this. Isaiah lii. 8. 
Your advice and counsel have been very much to me of recent 
years, though I have not always followed it. You have lived 
more in touch with the Lord than I have ; and so have known 
His will better. I pray that God will guide you aright at this 
time. Could we, I wonder, get away quietly for a few days 
to pray over the matter. But it must not (of this I am clear) 
be decided hastily the issues are far too solemn and im- 
portant. So we must wait long if need be for certain light. 

The last letter on this subject was dated June 6, 
1907, and was written in one of the small Chinese life- 
boats which are used on the perilous waters of the 
Upper Yangtze. With this we must close these 
sacred glimpses into the Bishop's private and personal 

correspondence . 


Thursday, June 6, 1907. 

MY DEAREST LOUIE It is not easy to write on this boat as I 
have to hold the paper on my knees and hoping to reach you 
soon after my letters there is less need to write at length. I 
have telegraphed to Wanhsien several times, so you will know 
my movements before this. . . . 

We are now not far from the Sin-t'an [New Rapid] and hope 
to reach Wanhsien to-morrow . . . and Paoning June 23 
[Sunday]. Ah, will not that be a joy ! ... I do not want to 
wander again without you for a long long time. 

Of course the matter of the Archbishop's letter is all day in 
my prayers and Cecil Polhill helps by prayer. You will soon 
now get my letters. The boat rocks so that I cannot write, 
and here comes Mr. Parsons along. I much look forward to 
getting later letters at Wanhsien. 

Fondest love, dearest Louie. God's richest blessing rest on 
you ! Love to the dear children. Ever your own affectionate 
husband, WILLIE. 



NUMBERS m. 16 ; xxvi. 57 TO END. 

O. &f N. Test, abound in instances of God's not only allow- 
ing but commanding numbering of people and things. 
A whole book of the Bible on this subject. 100 times. 

O. Test. Ch. of Israel numbered 3 times, and afterwards in 
Josh., Judges, Sam., Kings, Chron., constantly read of 
numbering. Entirely in accordance with God's purposes. 
Ezra again most careful and exact in numbering. 

N. Test. Gospel instances, Loaves and Fishes. 

Acts i. 3 times, ii. 41, v. 14, vi. 7, xi. 21, xvi. 5. 

(i) For what purposes ? Why allowed or ordered ? 

1. To show forth God's power and glory, e.g. miracle of 


2. To show how he can use weak things, or things which are 

not, e.g. Gideon's 300 (Judges vii.). 

3. To cheer Preachers (Church), show labour not in vain, 

cf. Acts ii. 41, etc. 

4. To stimulate to emulation (holy), not a wrong motive 

if in a right spirit ; " tribes " and 2 Cor. ix. 2. " Your 
zeal hath provoked very many." 

5 . For estimating the workers and means required for God's 

service. O. Test. Levites, numbers and ransom. 
Numbers iii. numbered to do the work of the con- 
gregation. Numbers iv. 30, 35, 41. 

6. Preparation for conflict against the foe, cf. Joshua-Saul- 

David, etc. 

7. Warning, number who fell in desert, cf. Numbers 26. 

For all such purposes it is right to number. 
Add up numbers and consider resources. 

(2) But on the other hand there is evidently a great danger. 
Terrible story of David numbering Israel is enough to 
show this. 



Wherein lay his sin, for that it was a grievous sin the whole 
story shows. 

Led of Satan not of God. 
Whenever David failed to seek for God's leading he 

landed himself in a terrible retribution. 
Wilful against advice and exhortation. 


i. Pride-vain-glory-boasting, cf. 2 Sam. xxiv. 
ii. Ambition, desire for fresh conquest, numbering in 
preparation for war if of God, right ; if not, 

iii. Covetousness, intention to impose fresh taxes on 
people (lust of flesh-eye and pride of life). These 
things written for our learning. 

Led to speak on this because during last few days received 
a number of very kind letters of congratulation and one telegram 
from London referring to last 30 years. 

If there is any boastful or vainglorious spirit in adding up 
numbers then absolutely wrong and brings a curse. 

If for God's glory to show what He has done, to cheer us, 
to stimulate us, and to warn us, then right and our duty. 

We are to remember all the way that He has led us. 

i. Fellow workers. 

There have been as many as 135. 
2^Ckmese Staff, iz ordained. 98 licensed. 

31 Bible Women. Total 141. 

3. Stations, 25 ; outstations, 120. 

4. Churches built, 40. 

Baptized, 10,000 

Communicants . . 5164 
Baptized, not 

Communicants 2426 
Catechumen . . 2128 

9718 from former statistics, 
now over 10,000 adherents. 
Disciplined sad, a warning 538. Heb. ii. and iii. 


Aldis, Miss, 281 

Aldis, Rev. W. H., 209, 210, 216, 

3i3, 340 
Arnott, Miss, 197 

Barclay, Misses P. and F., 129, 

135, iS9, 162, 260 
Bardsley, Rev. C. C. B., 284 
Baring-Gould, Rev. B., 233, 235 ; 

quoted, 178, 179 
Barnes-Lawrence, Rev. A. E., 

184, 281, 285 

Bartlett, Rev. D. H. C., 330 
Beauchamp, Rev. Sir Montagu, 

41, 42, 52, 62, 63, 65, 66, 68, 

69, 7, 7i, 72, 82, 105, 135, 

146, 148, 157, 158, 159, 160, 

162 ; quoted, 114-15 
Benson, Archbishop, 178, 182, 

183, 184 ; quoted, 179, 180 
Bible Churchmen's Missionary 

Society, 329-30 
Biggs, Miss, 254 
Bishop, Mrs. Bird, 186 ; quoted, 

1 86-8 
Boxer Rising, 207, 212 et seq. ; 

reaction following, 220-22 
Bradley, Rev. A., 298 
Broman, Miss, 140 
Bruce, Mr. P. A., 295 
Bulletin of the Bible Union for 

China, The, 329 
Bulletin of the West China Diocese, 

The, 228, 302, 316 

Callum, Rev. D. A. and Mrs., 

Cambridge Seven, 25, 36, 40-44, 

72, 81, 105 
Canterbury, Archbishop of, 178, 

233-6 ; quoted, 233, 3*3-14 
Carey, William, quoted, 173 

Cassels, Dorothy Hope (Mrs. 

Frank Houghton), 186, 195, 

258, 295, 313, 314 
Cassels, Ethelinda, 219, 259 
Cassels, Frances Grace, 186, 222, 

258; quoted, 268-71, 323-4 
Cassels, Francis (brother), quoted, 

11-12, 20-23, 29, 3-3i, 38- 

Cassels, Francis (son), 165, 168, 

169, 173 
Cassels, Harold, 208, 222, 259, 

295, 297 

Cassels, Herbert, 26 ; Notes by, 35 
Cassels, Jessie Ida (Mrs. P. A. 

Bruce), 132-3, 151, 153, 166, 

175, 195, 211, 281, 294; 

quoted, 256-7, 265-7 
Cassels, John (father), 3, 5, 6, 9, 

10, 12, 20 
Cassels, Mrs. John (ne'e Ethelinda 

Cox), 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, n, 12, 

14, 3, 37, 44-5, 212 
Cassels, William Cecil, 175, 295 
Cassels, William Wharton: parent- 
age, 5-9 ; born in Oporto, 9 ; 
early childhood in Portugal, 
10-14 ; mother's influence, 
12 ; removal to England, 15 ; 
death of father, 20 ; at 
school in Stroud, 20-21 ; at 
school in Blackheath, 21-2 ; 
at Repton, 23-5 ; keenness 
in athletics, 21-2, 24-5, 26 ; 
St. John's, Cambridge, 25-6 ; 
ordination, 29 ; curacy in 
South Lambeth, 29-35 > ca ll 
to foreign field, 35, 36 ; 
offers to Church Missionary 
Society, 36 ; accepted by 
China Inland Mission, 37 ; 
farewell address at Exeter 



Cassels, William Wharton cont. 
Hall, 42-4 ; departure for 
China, 49 ; Shanghai reached, 
50 ; Peking, 52-9 ; life in 
Shansi, 60 et seq. ; Taiyuanfu, 
6 1 -2 ; views on " Marriage 
on the Mission Field", 73-4 ; 
departure for Szechwan, 79 ; 
engagement to Miss Legg, 
96 ; commencement of work 
at Paoning, 90-104; marriage, 
107 ; the home at Paoning, 
112-14, 188, 268-71, 319 ; the 
man of prayer, 118-19; esti- 
mate of character, 128, 136- 
139, 243, 245, 265-7, 270, 
302, 357-61 ; birth of eldest 
child, 132 ; appointed As- 
sistant Superintendent of 
Mission district, 138, 150 ; 
itinerations, 139-41, 222, 231, 
288, 301, 325, 336 et seq. ; 
appointed Commissary to 
Bishop Moule, 164 ; birth 
of eldest son, 165 ; opening 
of first chapel in Paoning, 
166-7 j death of eldest son, 
1 68 ; arrival in England, 
June 1894, 173 ; visit to 
Oporto, 175 ; birth of second 
son, 175; consecrated Bishop 
of Western China, 182 ; re- 
turns to China, October 1895, 
182; birth of twin daughters, 
1 86 ; birth of third son, 208 ; 
death of his mother, 212-13 ; 
the Boxer Rising, 207, 212 
et seq. ; birth of youngest 
child, 219 ; founding of 
Diocesan Training Institute, 
225 ; leaves for furlough, 
1904, 226-7 > visits Portugal, 
228 ; separation from chil- 
dren, 229, 230 ; return to 
Paoning, 230 ; policy in 
work, 231 ; invitation to be- 
come Bishop of Mid-China, 
233-7 > relations with chil- 
dren, 255 et seq. ; the daily 
time-table, 258-60 ; revolu- 
tion in China, 275 et seq. ; in 
England, 281 ; return to 
China, 1913, 282 ; invitation 
to join home staff of Church 
Missionary Society, 284-6 ; 

Cassels, William Wharton cont. 
building and consecration of 
pro-Cathedral, 283, 289-93 ; 
welcome back to Paoning, 
1920, 315 ; last travels, 333 et 
seq.; illness, 351 ; death, 354 

Cassels, Mrs. William Wharton 
(nee Mary Louisa Legg), 39, 
93-7, 101, 107, 126, 132-3, 
222,268,270; quoted, 111-14, 
122, 152-3, 154-5, 262, 264 

Chang, Pastor (former Buddhist 
Bishop), 68, 69, 71 

China : 
Anti-foreign outbursts, 89, 152- 

153, 156-9, 176-7, 181, 196, 
207, 208, 212 et seq., 225, 
276 et seq., 300, 303, 322, 
342 et seq. 

Boxer Rising, 207, 212 et seq. 

Civil strife, 296 et seq., 312, 
321 et seq. 

Revolution of 1911, 275 et seq. 

War with Japan, 175, 176 
China Inland Mission : 

and Church of England, 81, 99, 
136, 139-42, 197-205 

and Church Missionary Society, 

145, 199-205 

Removal to Newington Green, 

Principles and Practice, 179 
China's Millions, 41 
Ch'ii, Pastor, 68-9, 73, 74 
Church Missionary Review, 282 
Church Missionary Society : 

Work commenced in Szechwan, 

and China Inland Mission, 145, 
148, 199-205 

and Bible Churchmen's Mis- 
sionary Society, 329-30 
Conferences, 238-40 

Anglican Conference, 238, 243, 

Keswick, 175, 180, 184 

Lambeth Conference, 239, 240, 
261,, 305, 307-8 

Mildmay Conference, 174 

National Christian Conference, 
Shanghai, 1922, 328 

Pan-Anglican Congress, 239, 

Shanghai Missionary Confer- 
ence, 149-50 



Conferences continued 

United Conference of Bishops, 

1894, 194 

West China Missionary Con- 
ference, 208, 334 

Corfe, Bishop C. J., 195 

Cox, George, 161 

Culverwell, Misses E. and F., 
107, no, 112, 129, 130, 

Donnithorne, Rev. V. H., 297 
Do not Say, 144 

Easton, Rev. G. F., 87 

Edkin, Rev. Joseph, quoted, 58-9 

Edwards, Canon Allen T., 29, 30, 


Evans, Rev. A. E., 152, 210 ; 
quoted, 119 

Fearon, Miss M. E., 336 
Forester, Rev. O. St. M., 297 
Fox, Prebendary H. E., 182, 233, 

Gill, Rev. W. H., 135 
Gilmour, Rev. James, 59 
Grainger, Mr., 140, 152 
Graves, Bishop F. R., 195 
Guardian, The, quoted, 202, 203-5 

Hanbury, Miss B., 118, 125, 129, 
135, 151, 154, 160-61, 162 

Hannah, Rev. C. B., 260, 337 

Hardman, Mr. M., 152 

Hayrnan, Mr., 337 

Hayward, Mr. J. H., 129, 135, 
1 60, 162, 1 68 

Henrietta Bird Memorial Hos- 
pital, 1 86, 1 88 

Hickman, Rev. J. A., 147 

Hill, Rev. David, 70 

Hoare, Rev. J. C. (Bishop), 198- 

Hodges, Rev. Mr., 168 

Hogg, Mr. C. F., 91, 95 

Horsburgh, Rev. J. Heywood, 
125, 127, 130, 142, 143-6, 
159, 205, 330 ; quoted, 144, 

Hoste, Mr. D. E., 37, 41, 42, 52, 
53, 55, 61, 63, 72, 73, 281, 

Houghton, Rev. Frank, 313 

Hsi, Pastor, 64, 72, 74 

Hu, Mr., 259 

Hughesdon, Rev. E., 135, 162 

In Quest of God, 65 
Inwood, Rev. and Mrs. Charles, 

Jackson, Rev. O. M., 145, 147 
Japan : War with China, 175, 


Jennings, Rev. W., 224 
Jones, Miss S. E., 131, 134 

Kennaway, Sir J. E., 182 
Keswick, 175, 180, 184 
Kitley, Rev. W., 216 
Knipe, Rev. W. L. L. and Mrs., 


Kolkenbeck, Miss, 152, 195 
Ku Ho-lin, Archdeacon, 154-5, 

232-3, 303, 306, 353, 354 

Larking, Captain Albert, quoted, 


Lawrence, Dr. M. R., 313 
Legg, Miss Mary Louisa. See 

Mrs. William Wharton 


Lloyd, Miss, 195 
Lloyd, Rev. L., 182 

MacLaren, Miss, 259, 298 
Martin, Miss D., 331 
Martin, Miss N., 129, 135 
Mertens, Miss, 147 
Missionary work : 

openings following Boxer Ris- 
ing, 220-21 

opposition to, 88-9, 90, 91-2, 

IOI-2, 122-3, 152-3, 156, 

176-7, 181, 196, 207, 208, 
225, 230, 300, 314, 323, 333, 


Moody 's Missions, 40, 42 
Moule, Archdeacon A. E., 51, 99 
Moule, Bishop G. E., 102, 106, 
io7, i39> 141, 164, 176, 177, 
183, 195, 198, 233, 284 
Moule, Archdeacon W. S., 244 
Mowll, Bishop Howard, 325-6, 

33i, 334, 337, 347, 353, 


Muir, Miss, 91, 95 
Murray, Miss Mariamne, 95 

378 BISHO 

Old Reptonian Prayer Union, '* 
Oporto, 6, 8-9, 10-14, 20, 175, 2 
Otley, Mr., 196 

Paoning : 

description of city, 84-6, li 

commencement of Christi 

work, 90 et seq. 
daily plan of work, 120-21, 25 

Cassels' home, 112-14, i? 

268-71, 319 
building and consecration 

pro-Cathedral, 283, 289-9; 
during civil strife, 322-4 
Parry, Dr. H. L., 140, 166 
Parsons, Rev. C. H., 146, if 

152, 157, 158, 209, 306 
Phelps, Rev. Albert, 88, 89, c 
92, 102, 105, 124, 143, i = 
152, 1 60, 162 

Phillips, Rev. A. A., 147, 216 
Pingyangfu, 63-4, 65, 70, 72 
Polhill-Turner (or Polhill), C. a 
A., 41, 42, 52, 82, 88, 91, c 
100, 101, 102, 105, 116, 14 
151, iSS, 156, 160, 162, 2] 
Pruen, Dr. W. L., 197 

Record, The, quoted, 197-202 
Repton, 23-5 
Rogers, Mr. George, 283 
Roots, Bishop L. H., 234, 
244, 289 ; quoted, 289-90 

Scott, Bishop C. P., 195, 243 
Simmonds, Mr., 147 
Simpson, Rev. J. G., 182 
Sintientsi, 131-2 
Smith, Miss L., 336 
Smith, Mr. Stanley P., 25, 

37,41, 52/53,55,56,57, 
62, 63; quoted, 25, 36 

Song, Pastor, 72 

Spanish and Portuguese Chu 
Aid Society, 33 


Union, 25 
>,o, 175, 228 

84-6, 187, 
2-14, 188, 

cration of 
3, 289-93 


146, 150, 

88, 89, 91, 

143, iSi, 

47, 216 
70, 72 
lill), C. and 

1, 9i, 99, 
, 116, 143, 
, 162, 210, 



., 234, 242, 

, 289-90 



P., 25, 35, 

aese Church 

Squibbs, Rev. Dr., 254 
Stevenson, Rev. J. W., 73, 74, 

116, 138, 168 
Stewart, Rev. J. R., 297 
Stock, Dr. Eugene, 285 ; quoted, 

41-2, 143, 180, 182, 203-5 
Studd, Mr. C. T., 41, 42, 52 
Student Volunteer Movement, 44 
Sykes, Rev. H., quoted, 24-5 
Szechwan, description of, 83-4 
itinerating in, 114-15, 122-3, 

129, 130, 133-4 

Taiyuanfu, 61-2, 72 

Talbot, Bishop E., 211, 242, 279 

Taning, 69-71 

Taylor, Dr. Howard, 316 

Taylor, Mrs. Howard, quoted, 

Taylor, Rev. J. Hudson, 37, 41, 

42, 50, 72, 73, 81, 82, 85, 

95, 138, 139, 149, 150, 152, 

1 60, 1 68, 184, 185, 208, 209 ; 

quoted, 80, 81, 119 ; death, 


Taylor, Mrs. Hudson, 168, 208 
Taylor, Rev. W. C., 140, 210, 

Ting Li-rnei, Rev., 288 

Victoria, Bishop of. See under 
Rev. J. C. Hoare 

Wang Tsong-ih, 154, 155-7 
Watt, Rev. F. J., 326 
Webb-Peploe, Prebendary, 178, 


West China Tract Society, 208 
Whiteside, Rev. R. A., 326 
Willett, Rev. T. G., 152 
Williams, Miss F. M., 118, 119, 

130, 135, 154, 162, 196 
Williams, Rev. E. O., 131, 133, 

198, 210 

Williams, Sir George, 42 
Wrigley, Mr., 196 

Yii Man-tze, 208, 209 






in^ st< 


100 Longitude East lO2of Green.>vich. 






stowing stations 

and B.C;M.S, 
Clmia Diocese 

C.LM. Stations TmderTined, thus 


100 Longitude East 102 of 

r^jp^^Hpd r'VcY/s 
*J j^J^Cy w/ 

fiiinSifirLr-, -^~^"^ I 

Stanford's Geog.' Estab* London.